NEWS

ALI Tops Bidding for P4-B Transport Hub

By: Louella D. Desiderio

MANILA, Philippines – Property giant Ayala Land Inc. emerged as the frontrunner for the  P4-billion Integrated Transport System (ITS)-South Terminal project, beating the only other bidder, Filinvest Land Inc.

During the opening of financial bids yesterday, ALI offered a P277.89 million annual grantor payment (AGP) for the project, lower than FLI’s P1 billion bid.

AGP refers to the payment to be made by the government to the concessionaire.

When AGPs are made, the lowest bid wins subject to evaluation of the bid.

“As far as we are concerned, the government of course, welcomes the lowest bid amount because that’s the amount that’s going to be paid by government for this particular service,” Jose Perpetuo Lotilla, chairman of the bids and awards committee and undersecretary for legal affairs at the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) told reporters yesterday.

Following evaluation, the DOTC would issue the notice of award for the project within a month.

The ITS-South project involves the construction of a terminal within a 4.7-hectare area in the Food Terminal Inc. compound in Taguig City.

The terminal is expected to connect passengers from Laguna or Batangas to other transport systems in inner Metro Manila.

The project will also include the development of passenger terminal buildings, arrival and departure bays, public information systems, ticketing and baggage handling facilities, and park-ride facilities.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, ALI said the project is strategic to the company as it is right next to ARCA South, which it is developing into a mixed-use estate.

“ALI will be awarded by the DOTC with a 35-year concession agreement to build and operate the ITS-South project and will likewise have the right to develop and operate commercial leasing facilities on the same 5.57 hectare former Food Terminal Inc. property on which the future transport terminal will be built,” said ALI senior vice president and chief finance officer Jaime Ysmael.

ARCA South, formerly known as the FTI complex, which the Ayala Group bought from the government in 2012, is envisioned as a central business district and gateway to Metro Manila from the south.

It will have residential units AyalaLand Premier, Alveo and Avida brands, office buildings catering to business process outsourcing companies, retail centers, a hotel and a hospital.

Up to 4,000 buses and 160,000 passengers are expected to feed into ITS-South from the South Luzon Expressway every day.

Construction of the project would begin by May 2016 and is expected to be completed and ready for operation by October 2017,” Ysmael said.

The ITS South project is part of the government’s public-private partnership program.

Under the PPP scheme, the private partner will undertake the design, construction, and financing of the ITS-South Terminal as well as the operation and maintenance of the whole facility.

The concessionaire can also undertake commercial development and collect revenues generated from the same.

Since the Aquino administration launched its much-touted flagship PPP program in 2010, it has already awarded a total of 10 projects amounting to P189 billion.

The Ayala Group also won the first PPP project that was bid out by the government, the P2.01-billion Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway (MCX) — formerly known as the Daang Hari-SLEX Connector Road.

AC Infrastructure Holdings, Ayala Corp.’s infrastructure arm, also owns half of Light Rail Manila Holdings, which in turn holds a 35 percent stake in Light Rail Manila Corp., the consortium that won the P64.9-billion LRT1 Cavite Extension project.

AC Infra also owns 10 percent of the Automatic Fare Collection Systems Inc, which won the contract for the AFCS project.