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All of the Sudden, BCDA Wrangle with SM Prime, Why? #1MNews

All of the Sudden, BCDA Wrangle with SM Prime, Why? #1MNews

All of the sudden, Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) wrangle with SM Prime Holdings for the development of SM Aura Premiere, in which SM won the bid through the Taguig City Administration in 2007.

SM Prime said, there was a bid and they were permitted to create SM Aura and that the local government of Taguig allowed them to do so. But why all of the sudden, BCDA shouted foul at SM Prime for constructing SM Aura?

Years ago, nobody wanted the Fort Bonifacio but at present time, it’s very different.

Let’s take a look about Fort Bonifacio:

According to Wikipedia, Fort Bonifacio (also known as Bonifacio Global City or The Fort) is a highly urbanized district in Metro Manila, Philippines. It is located 11 kilometers south-east of the center of Manila in an area disputed between the cities of Makati and Taguig as well as the municipality of Pateros. In recent years, the district has experienced robust commercial growth through the sale of military land by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA). The entire district used to be the part of the main Philippine Army camp.

In 1995, Bonifacio Land Development Corporation (BLDC) started planning a major urban development—Bonifacio Global City. BLDC made a successful bid to become BCDA's partner in the development of the district. The Ayala Corporation through Ayala Land, Inc., and Evergreen Holdings, Inc. of the Campos Group purchased a controlling stake in BLDC from Metro Pacific in 2003. BCDA and the two companies now control Fort Bonifacio Development Corporation, which oversees the master planning of Bonifacio Global City.

Bonifacio Global City is between EDSA and C-5 Road. There are seven major access points: access from the North and West through Kalayaan Avenue which connects it to the North Gate and the Kalayaan Flyover, access from Taguig in the West via EDSA through McKinley Road and to the McKinley Gate; the three main entrances (Upper East Gate, Sampaguita Gate, and Lower East Gate) from C-5 highway in the East; and from the airport through the Villamor Airbase to the South Gate by Fifth Avenue and Lawton Avenue. The trouble is McKinely Road, that has already reached its maximum traffic density, but due to the residential areas (and Manila Polo Club) cannot be expanded. BGC is home to upscale residential condominiums such as Essensa, Serendra, Pacific Plaza Towers, One McKinley Place, The Luxe Residences, Bonifacio Ridge Twin Towers, and Regent Parkway and corporate office buildings such as Net One and Bonifacio Technology Center. Most trendy restaurants, bars, clubs, and retail outlets are on Bonifacio's High Street, The Shops at Serendra (a.k.a. Piazza or Serendra Plaza), The Fort Square, and The Fort Strip. The Bonifacio Stop-over and the Car Plaza cater to motorists. BGC is currently anchored by a major shopping centre, Ayala Land's Market! Market!

And, SM Aura Premier is a shopping mall, owned by SM Prime Holdings (the largest mall developer in the Philippines), which will be part of the Bonifacio Civic Centre. The mall is located along C5 Road cor M.H. Del Pilar Drive (near Sampaguita Interchange). The Civic Center will also feature a Convention Centre / Trade Hall that will serve the community of the entire Taguig City and will include the SM Lifestyle Mall which will house the fourth IMAX Theatre in the country.

Many Filipino and multinational corporations have acquired properties and have committed to relocate their global, regional or national headquarters in the business district of BGC.

Many foreign embassies moved from Ayala Avenue in Fort Bonifacio to its permanent location now near the Global City's center in 2008. The master plan of Fort Bonifacio was recently updated to allow efficient traffic management and circulation.

Let’s take a look according to Casanova of BCDA:

1) Arnel Casanova is the President of BCDA. In such capacity, he became director of FBDC (a partnership between BCDA and the consortium of Ayala /Campos), which was entered into for the purpose of developing BGC.

Citing Section 8 of the Republic Act 7917, BCDA president and chief executive Arnel Paciano Casanova said SM Aura sits on land donated by BCDA to Taguig. “Instead of bidding out the land and remitting the proceeds to the AFP for its modernization, we turned over this land so it can be put to good civic use.”

2) He pointed out that as early as 2009, the Bonifacio Estate Services Corp. (BESC), which is in charge of BGC’s upkeep, rejected SM Prime’s outline application for the proposed community and retail complex, because the development is not in line with what is being stipulated by law. It’s a Civic Center for the people of Taguig.

3) While a BESC permit is necessary to engage in construction activities in BGC, SM Prime was able to commence building by getting a permit from the Taguig City Hall.

4) Casanova said, SM Prime Holdings Inc. avoided declaring the official purpose of the development, and this loophole allowed them to continue with the building.

5) The BCDA received an official letter confirming that the development was indeed classified as a mall, not a civic center.

6) Casanova shouted foul for Construction of SM Aura in Taguig is illegal when completion nearly complete.

7) BCDA said it sent several letters to the company to cease construction, but SM and the local government of Taguig were able to get a TRO to proceed with the construction.

Let’s take a look according to SM Prime Holdings:

1) SM won the bid through the Taguig City Administration in 2007, it’s legal and binding.

2) SM Prime was able to commence building by getting a permit from the Taguig City Hall. The property is not only intended for a mall (SM Aura), but it will be a state-of-the-art civic center.

3) SM alleged the BCDA “conveyed” the property to the City of Taguig by way of compromise. SM emphasized the property was not donated.

4) SM said, the deed of conveyance specifically provides that BCDA will not 'place any restrictions on the land use or zoning of the properties. There are no liens, encumbrances or restrictions annotated on the titles to the property.


Since, the Philippine government wanted to uplift the economy of our country, construction of SM Aura Premiere won’t be a hindrance to its development. Thus, it will be of great help to the people of Taguig City and its officials. Likewise, SM Prime acquired the property through legal bidding with Taguig Administration, not bending any laws whatsoever.

Thus, BCDA wanted the property to be a civic center; SM Prime built it as a modern state-of-the-art civic center. Isn’t it good? Isn’t it feasible for Taguig City development through SM Aura and Taguig residents?

Why does BCDA press on the issue too much? And why the BCDA’s singling out SM Prime when in fact, some business entities are developing along with it? Maybe, the Ayala’s interested or other concern when it comes to Mall business?

Read through the pages of your mind.


  1. My say, GREED is now taking control of BCDA bigwigs..

  2. I think this is really all about the money..

  3. I keep on saying that business is business and the person behind BCDA and the person behind SMPHI are, shall we say, the best of nemesis ever.

  4. the development will provide good opportunities for a lot of people... might as well support them.

  5. BCDA has no business being here as far as I can see.

  6. something does seem "wrong" with BCDA's sudden involvement


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