By: Miguel R. Camus and Doris Dumlao-Abadilla
Property giant Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) won on Tuesday a public transportation hub deal with the government near the Food Terminal Inc. (FTI) compound in Taguig, where the firm is also developing a massive mixed-use project.
ALI submitted the best offer for the project known as the P4-billion Integrated Transport System-South (ITS-South) project, beating sole rival bidder Filinvest Land Inc., results from the bid opening submission held Tuesday showed.
Apart from building and operating the terminal, ALI will likewise have the right to develop and operate commercial leasing facilities on the 5.57-hectare former FTI property.
Transportation department undersecretary Jose Perpetuo Lotilla said ALI offered to pay P277.89 million annually to undertake the project, while Filinvest Land offered P1 billion.
Lotilla said the lowest offer is considered superior, but he stopped short of naming any winner. He said the project will likely be awarded within the month.
In its filing to the Philippine Stock Exchange, ALI claimed an early victory over the project.
“ALI will be awarded by the Department of Transportation and Communications with a 35-year concession agreement to build and operate the ITS-South Project,” ALI said in its filing.
This is the first time that ALI submitted an offer for an ITS project, while it is the second time for FLI.
The ITS projects are designed to create intermodal hubs where provincial buses would disembark passengers to transfer to other in-city modes of transport such as elevated railways, city buses and UV Express vans. The move was also aimed at easing congestion within Metro Manila.
The first ITS project, known as the ITS-outhwest, which will be built near the Manila Cavite Expressway, was bagged earlier this year by a consortium led by Megawide Construction Corp. and Henry Sy’s Walter Mart Group.
ALI estimated up to 4,000 buses and 160,000 passengers will use the ITS-South from South Luzon Expressway daily. Construction will begin by May 2016 and is expected to be completed and ready for operation by October 2017.
The site of the terminal is right next to ARCA South, where ALI is also developing an integrated mixed-use estate. The terminal project is thus seen as crucial to improving access to the development.
“We feel this is a very strategic project. We feel this is a good project to help de-clog Metro Manila,” Alfonso Javier Reyes, ALI head of transportation and power business, said in a separate interview.
Last year, ALI unveiled the P80-billion master plan for ARCA South, its newest central business district (CBD) project in the metropolis, which will be built on a 74-hectare lot likewise previously part of the FTI complex.
For the first phase of the project, ARCA South will have 20 residential towers, nine office buildings, a 200-room Seda hotel, a 250-bed QualiMed hospital, as well as diverse shopping, dining and entertainment areas.