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P338.8-B reclamation project proposed

Posted on January 31, 2016 10:50:00 PM
By Daphne J. Magturo, Reporter[]

THE SAN MIGUEL group and the developer of the Philippine Arena are proposing a P338.8-billion public-private partnership (PPP) project that will reclaim a part of Manila Bay, as well as build an expressway, a commercial area, a coastal sea barrier and flood control system.

“The project’s main purpose is to protect the Manila Bay coastline against flooding from the sea by means of a city flood barrier and coastal sea barrier, and provide an attractive urban waterfront development with space for new commercial activities. The coastal sea barrier also functions as an expressway that cuts the travel time between Bataan and the National Capital Region,” read a Jan. 11 project brief from the Public Works department.

“Along the barrier, the project also offers reclaimed land for urban and economic development. In between the reclaimed land and the present shoreline are mangrove forests that help develop the ecological value of Manila Bay.”

Information on the size of the proposed project was not immediately available. But at P338.8 billion, that’s triple SM Prime Holdings, Inc.’s reclamation deals covering a combined 600 hectares along Manila Bay.

“This is an unsolicited proposal first submitted by the New San Jose Builders, Inc. and proposed to be implemented through an alternative PPP scheme under the build-operate-transfer law, particularly a build-gradual transfer-build-operate-transfer hybrid modality,” the document read.

New San Jose, which actually filed the proposal back on Nov. 19, 2013, is the company behind the Philippine Arena in Bulacan, Bataan’s historical resort park Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, and residential condominiums in Metro Manila under the brand “Victoria,” according to its Web site.

The developer then partnered with San Miguel Holdings Corp. and the original proponent’s name was changed to Coastal Development Consortium on Feb. 2015, according to the project’s timeline.

Asked what drew his interest to partner with the developer, San Miguel Corp. President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang replied in a text message yesterday: “[We’re] good friends.”

The department also bared the project cost breakdown in dollar terms: the flood barrier will require upfront investment of $1.4 billion, the expressway will cost $900 million and the coastal barrier, $5.4 billion. The concession period will run for 30 years.

The Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) is currently bidding out the P408.43-million consultancy contract to study how Manila Bay and communities around it can be affected by reclamation projects.

Environmental consultants who want to bag the deal will have more time to join the auction after the government extended the deadline to submit eligibility documents to Feb. 2 from Jan. 25, according to a Jan. 19 bid bulletin from the PRA. “In accordance with the maximum allowable period... the deadline for the submission of the eligibility documents is moved to February 02, 2016 at 12:00NN,” the document quoted Bids and Awards Committee Chairman Floro C. Urcia as saying.

Submitted documents will be opened on the same day and the PRA will draw up a short list of consultants composed of up to five groups, according to a Jan. 12 request for expression of interest.

“The consultant must be a reputable firm with at least 10 years of consulting business operation. In case of a joint venture or consortium/consortia, any member firm should have at least 10 years of consulting business,” the PRA said in the same document.

At least four companies have already bought eligibility documents, according to PRA Assistant General Manager for Reclamation and Regulation Joselito D. Gonzales.

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