MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III witnessed on Monday, November 12, the signing of a purchase agreement that sealed one of the largest in the history of privatization of Philippine government assets.
In ceremonies held in Malacañang, representatives of private developer Ayala Land Inc and various government agencies formally completed the sale of Food Terminal Inc (FTI).
This amount was more than double the government’s base price of P10.25 billion during the auction in August, and the bids of Robinsons Land (P14.7-billion) and Empire East (P11-billion).
The Palace said in a statement that the successful bidding and the hefty sale proceeds could be attributed to the administration’s policy toward transparency and competitive bidding.
This is “an impressive haul for government that the Palace said would redound to funding the social infrastructure that complements the building of roads, bridges and tollways,” the Palace added.
Signing for the government was Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, who was joined by Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, Chief Privatization Officer of the Privatization and Management Office Karen Singson, FTI president Rene Fuentes and Taguig City Mayor Maria Laarni Lopez-Cayetano.
Representatives of Ayala Land meanwhile, consisted of its chairman Fernando Zobel de Ayala, and president and chief executive officer Tony Aquino.
She said the proceeds of the sale would be used to support the Department of Agriculture’s modernization program as well as the projects of the Department of Agrarian Reform.
“We hope the re-development of the FTI complex will lead to a surge in economic activity and increase employment in the City of Taguig and the surrounding metropolitan area,” Singson said.
The remanding parcel of land in the 103-hectare state-owned property is allocated for the Transportation Department’s intermodal transport system linking various types of transit options to facilitate commuting from various points.
“In this particular case, portions of the property have been set aside for the Metro Manila Integrated Transport System which aims to ease traffic congestion by connecting provincial commuters to other modes of urban transportation. Meanwhile, a connector road has been proposed by the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways), which will link the C-5 Road to the South Luzon Expressway through the FTI property,” Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a statement.
The planned Integrated Transport System project of the Department of Transportation and Communications will be adjacent to the property and will be connected to the current Philippine National Railways station in the area, ALI said, adding that plans were likewise being drawn for a possible Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) that would run from Pasay City to Makati City, Bonifacio Global City, FTI and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
The transportation links will complement Ayala Land’s plans for the mixed-used development.
In a statement, Ayala Land said the FTI property will have new infrastructure envisioned to spur economic activity in the area and will feature convenience-centric retail, dining and entertainment offerings set within generous spaces and surrounded by pockets of greens and will promote social interaction and an active community life. – Rappler.com