NEWS

AYALA Poised to Bag Another PPP Deal

By: Daphne J. Magturo, Reporter

PROPERTY giant Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI) yesterday outbid Filinvest Land, Inc. in a state auction for a P4-billion build-transfer-operate contract for an integrated transport hub near Food Terminal, Inc. (FTI) grounds in Taguig City, marking what could be the Ayala group’s fourth public-private partnership (PPP) deal.

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The south terminal of the ITS project, to be built on a 4.7-hectare site near the Food Terminal, Inc. complex in Taguig City, is envisioned to connect passengers coming from the Laguna and Batangas areas to other transport systems like the planned North-South Commuter Railway project of the PNR, city buses, taxis, and other PUVs that serve inner Metro Manila, according to a brief on the Web site of the PPP Center. —ppp.gov.ph

“Ayala Land’s bid is an annual grantor payment (AGP) of P277,888,888. Filinvest Land’s bid is an AGP of P1 billion,” Transportation Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Jose Perpetuo M. Lotilla announced during the opening of financial bids for the 4.7-hectare project at the department’s headquarters in Mandaluyong City.

“The government welcomes the lowest bid amount because that’s the amount to be paid by the government for these facilities,” he told reporters after the event.

“I think we have a good deal in the amount that they’re charging.”

ALI’s parent, Ayala Corp., won in 2011 the P2.01-billion contract for the Daang Hari-SLEx (South Luzon Expressway) Link Road, now called the Muntinlupa — Cavite Expressway.

It then went on to bag two other PPP contracts through partnerships with infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp.: the P64.9-billion Light Rail Transit Line 1 Cavite Extension (together with Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings) and the P1.72-billion Automatic Fare Collection System.

Mr. Lotilla said the department will still conduct a detailed evaluation before it decides to formally issue the notice of award within the month.

ALI Chief Financial Officer Jaime E. Ysmael said in a disclosure that the firm will build and operate commercial facilities at the terminal, which is located near its property inside the FTI complex which it won in a 2012 privatization auction.

“This is an important project for us because we are developing ARCA South, so we feel this is very strategic for the country to help declog Metro Manila,” Alfonso Javier D. Reyes, head of transportation and power business in unit ALI-Capital, told reporters after the opening of bids.

“We’re very happy with the result of the bidding today.

Mr. Reyes added that “[t]he company expects up to 4,000 buses and 160,000 passengers to feed into ITS South” from SLEx daily.

Construction will begin by May next year and the terminal should start commercial operations by October 2017.

The ITS South project involves the construction of a terminal that will connect passengers from the Laguna and Batangas areas to other urban transport systems like the planned North-South Commuter Railway, buses, taxis and other public utility vehicles that serve inner Metro Manila. It includes construction of arrival and departure bays, public information systems, as well as ticketing, baggage and park-ride facilities.

Two other groups earlier qualified — Datem, Inc. and MWM Terminals of Megawide Construction Corp. — but did not show up at the auction. Datem cited concerns on the commercial viability of ITS South, while Megawide said it will focus on its other projects.

ALI shares gained 85 centavos or 2.23% to close at P39 a piece yesterday.