MANILA, Philippines—Ayala Land Inc. promises to help turn Pasay City into the country’s “most modern” business, residential and recreational district if it is given a chance to undertake a controversial 300-hectare proposed bayside reclamation project.
“This project is important to the company as it presents an opportunity for us to have significant presence in the Manila Bay area, contribute to the growth and progress of the city of Pasay, and make the reclaimed area the country’s model of urban and sustainable development,” said ALI chief operating officer Bobby Dy.
But Dy said that ALI’s plans would depend on detailed financial and technical studies that would take time to finish.
“We have spoken to a leading international engineering company, with vast experience in reclamation all over the world, and they said that it will take a minimum of two months to come up with a well thought out development plan,” he said.
ALI earlier asked Pasay City Mayor Antonino Calixto to extend by 60 working days the November 4 deadline for the submission of counter-proposals, noting that the public was notified of the SM group’s unsolicited proposal to reclaim 300 hectares only early this month.
“Pasay has nothing to lose and everything to gain if other interested companies are given more time to study the project and submit their counter proposals. We believe it is reasonable to request for a 60-day extension in order to prepare plans for a project of this size and scale. We just want to make sure that we come up with a comprehensive master-plan which considers all aspects, including a careful study on the development’s impact on the environment,” Dy said.
Apart from the extension sought for challengers, ALI is requesting the Pasay City government to reduce the P5-million fee to buy the bid documents, saying it would attract more bidders.
“In recent bids where we participated, document fees had never exceeded P500,000. That’s how much was required for bid documents on the FTI property,” he said.
Aside from the P5-million fee, the published terms required counter-bidders to have at least P50 billion in net worth and must have reclaimed 120 hectares preferably in the Manila Bay area.
“Most developers in the country will not qualify given the required experience in reclamation. Without this condition, many more will be able to bid. Reclamation has been done world-wide. Developers can easily get a partner who has the expertise and technology to implement a reclamation project,” Dy added.
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