Megawide, Araneta family move to resolve contractual dispute
MANILA -Tycoon Edgar Saavedra’s Megawide Construction Corp. and the Araneta family’s ACI Inc. are seeking arbitration over a contractual dispute involving office and commercial projects in Aranata Center, Quezon City that were built during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Companies typically undergo arbitration instead of going to the courts to fast track the resolution of cases.
Megawide, one of the country’s biggest contractors and engineering companies, said ACI is seeking P1.53 billion over alleged violations to a Sept. 13, 2019 contact for the construction of the Gateway Mall 2 and Ibis Hotel, a stock exchange filing showed.
This was after Megawide filed a compliant with the Construction Industry Arbitration Commission (CIAC) claiming nearly P340 million against ACI for another project involving the design and construction of the Araneta Cyberpark Tower 2.
The cases were filed last Jan 10, Megawide said in the disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.
“[Megawide] intends to file, within the allowed period, an opposition/objection to ACI Inc.’s permissive counterclaims for due consideration of the CIAC arbitration panel,” Megawide said in the filing.
“The permissive counterclaims will not have a significant impact as far as the operations of the company is concerned,” it added.
The company did not provide further details on the nature of the complaints.
Disputes between developers and their contractors and suppliers surged during the pandemic as difficult economic conditions forced real estate companies to delay payments, according to a lawyer working in the industry.
Gateway Mall is the main shopping center in the 35-hectare Araneta Center, one of the oldest commercial developments in Quezon City.