The current Philippine government is promoting PPP (Public Private Partnerships) as a key center piece program in wooing foreign investors in the country. Still, this recent example of one of the government agencies declining a unsolicited bid clearly shows it wants to do this in a fair and equal manner without favouring any parties local or foreign. Considering the bidding party is part of one of the country’s largest business groups, the rejection shows the determination not to influenced by its choice on the straight and narrow path to good governance.
From BusinessWorld Philippines
September 13, 2012
BCDA rejects SM Land’s proposal
THE BASES Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) has dropped the Swiss Challenge for the Bonifacio South property effectively rejecting the unsolicited proposal of SM Land, Inc., the agency said in a statement yesterday.
BCDA said it has written SM Land to officially inform the firm that the government has decided that an open and transparent public bidding is best for the property.
The agency however invited SM Land to participate in the bidding for Bonifacio South.
“Transparency, which is the heart of public bidding, will ensure that everything is above board. This in turn will encourage the best bidders to compete in a level playing field. We expect the open competitive bidding of this prime property to attract the country’s top real estate developers and unlock the best value for government,” said BCDA President Arnel Paciano D. Casanova in the statement.
He added the decision to set aside SM Land’s proposal is “pursuant to the Office of the President’s directive” and will be more advantageous to the government to gain the best price and development for the property.
SM Land declined to comment regarding the issue.
BCDA issued a Swiss challenge in August 2010 after it received an unsolicited proposal from SM Land to develop the 33.1-hectare Bonifacio South property for at least P20 billion.
The property is composed of lands occupied by the Army Support Command and Special Services Unit of the Philippine army, the Bonifacio Naval Station, and the Philippine Marine Corps of the Philippine Navy. Bonifacio South is considered one of BCDA’s “crown jewels”. The proposal and challenge was reviewed by the Office of the President and was only resolved on Aug. 15 when it declared the Bonifacio South property must be subjected to an open bidding.
Six real estate developers expressed interest in the property when BCDA announced the Swiss Challenge.
These were Ayala Land, Inc., Filinvest Land, Inc., Jones Lang La Salle-Leechiu, Megaworld Corp., Robinsons Land Corp. and Rockwell Land Corp.
Mr. Casanova said the BCDA is in the process of approving the terms of reference for the Bonifacio South’s bidding.