Pasay followed proper rules in 300-has. reclamation project

The Pasay City Government today maintained that the procedure it followed in selecting a joint venture partner for the proposed reclamation of 300 hectares of foreshore lands in the city was legal and above board.

Atty. Severo Madrona, City Legal Officer and Vice Chairman of the PPP Selection Committee, reiterated the city’s position that they followed the appropriate laws, rules, and regulations in connection with the unsolicited proposal of SM Land, Inc. that was subjected to “competitive or swiss challenge.”

“In the first place, there’s nothing illegal when it comes to the processes or procedures followed by the PPP Selection Committee. For one, the City Council approved the procedures followed by the PPP-SC, approved a resolution authorizing Mayor Antonino G. Calixto to sign the contractual joint venture (JV) agreement between the City Government of Pasay and the SM Land, Inc. and subsequently ratified the JVA through another resolution,” he said.

Madrona stressed that Ayala Land’s contention during the Monday public hearing held by the City Council that the 2013 NEDA JV Guidelines be followed were misplaced. “The PPP Selection Committee was guided by DILG Legal Opinion No. 47, s. 2012 which recognized the discretion of LGUs to implement JV guidelines based on its own determination of appropriate rules,” he said.

He added that the same holds true with S&P Construction Technology’s contention also aired during the same public hearing that the Build-Operate-Transfer Law (BOT Law) be followed.

“In line with such discretion, the Pasay City Government adhered to the 2008 NEDA JV Guidelines in its previous reclamation project as well as in the present 300-hectare reclamation project,” he said.

Madrona also explained that PPP Selection Committee could not unilaterally extend the 30-day period for the submission of counterproposals as requested by the bidders since it will be tantamount to changing the rules in midstream and it exposes the city to charges of violating or bending the rules to favor a particular company.

He said that in the absence of any competing proposal from any qualified bidder received by the Committee, the City Government then proceeded to sign the joint venture agreement with SM Land which was subsequently ratified by the City Council. 

“SM Land Inc. has the sufficient and relevant experience to undertake the 300-hectare reclamation project. Being the Joint Venture (JV) partner of the city in implementing this project, it is a requirement that the would-be partner for the said endeavor has the necessary experience and expertise which SM has,” he said.

Madrona added that the proposed project is compatible and subject to PRA’s government center reclamation project, thus, Ayala’s concern that the project does not have PRA approval is unfounded.

The project involves the reclamation and development of approximately three hundred (300) hectares of foreshore and offshore areas of Manila Bay located at the western part of the jurisdiction of the city. SM will undertake and fully finance the project and this includes all the costs of all the necessary permits and clearances from government agencies and the expenses to comply with all the government and legal requirements.

In addition, there will be no expenses on the part of the City Government. It’s contribution to the joint venture will be its authority, rights and privileges to undertake reclamation project in its jurisdiction under existing laws.

The City Government/PRA shall be allocated at least 153 hectares or 51% of the area to be reclaimed including roads and open spaces. It will be completed within seven years from the issuance by the city of the Notice to Proceed and with a cost estimated to be in the total amount of P54.5 billion.

 Press Release: Pasay City- Public Information Office

Thursday, November 28, 2013