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SM awarded Parañaque reclamation

Posted on December 09, 2014 11:03:00 PM
By Daphne J. Magturo, Reporter

SM Prime Holdings, Inc. has bagged the contract to reclaim and develop a 300-hectare area in Manila Bay under Parañaque City’s jurisdiction for P50.19 billion, further boosting the firm’s stature as a player to contend with in this property development arena.
“Please be informed that, upon the recommendation of the Public-Private Partnership Selection Committee (PPP-SC) in its Resolution No. 14-101 dated Dec. 2... the contract for the 300-ha reclamation and development project in Manila Bay within the territorial jurisdiction of the City is hereby awarded to your company,” read a Dec. 3 Notice of Award signed by Mayor Edwin L. Olivarez and addressed to SM Prime Senior Vice-President David L. Rafael.

The development comes in the wake of expressions of interest to match SM’s proposal that were submitted late last month by GT Capital Holdings, Inc. and Ayala Land, Inc. which Mr. Olivarez said yesterday did not comply with requirements of the bid bulletin published last Nov. 23.

“We published terms of reference in order for a bidder to be qualified, but they did not comply with the requirements... their letters were not even notarized,” Mr. Olivarez said in an interview at the Parañaque City Hall yesterday.

“The requirements were specific -- they were set by the PPP committee. And if no one met the terms of reference, automatically, the one that submitted the unsolicited proposal is awarded the project.”

GT Capital officials were not immediately available for comment.

But Ayala Land said in an e-mailed statement yesterday: “It is unfortunate that Parañaque City proceeded with the award despite the points we raised regarding the bidding process and guidelines.”

A company official declined to comment further.

Ayala Land had called for changes in terms like a deadline later than Jan. 5, as provided by the bid bulletin, to submit comparative proposals and approval by both the Public Reclamation Authority (PRA) and the National Economic and Development Authority. The firm also opposed the requirement that interested parties must have undertaken a reclamation project involving no less than 130 hectares.

And earlier this week, another party -- the R1 Consortium led by the Wenceslao group -- reminded Parañaque in a press statement that it had prior right to the project, citing a 1991 agreement with PRA’s predecessor, Public Estates Authority, to do the job. The company’s counsel was also not immediately available to comment on the group’s next step.

Mr. Olivarez yesterday reiterated the city’s position towards R1’s agreement, saying: “[B]etween R1 and the city, we have no agreement. We are not privy to their [sic] agreement with the PRA.”

SM Prime said in September that it plans to merge two Manila Bay reclamation projects -- estimated to be worth a combined P100 billion -- in a contiguous 600-ha area under the jurisdiction of Pasay and Parañaque cities.

These add to a growing list of reclamation projects like the 60-ha SM Mall of Asia complex in Pasay City, 16-ha SM City Bacolod in Bacolod City, and similar ventures in Cebu City.

SM Prime shares lost 24 centavos or 1.44% to end P16.46 apiece yesterday from their P16.60 finish on Friday last week. 

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