BAGUIO CITY – The Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) offered to the city government up to P10 billion credit facility for modernization of the Baguio City public market and other high impact development projects to help achieve the present administration’s goal of creating a better Baguio in the next three years.
Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong said he personally talked with DBP Chair Alberto Romulo several weeks ago and the bank official committed the bank’s resources to help the city government achieve the present administration’s 15-point collective agenda leading towards a better Baguio.
Currently, the city government is studying its options on whether to bid out the consultancy for the market development project or work on a design-and-build concept to realize the multi-billion market development project.
Earlier, the city government approved the proposed master development plan of the Baguio City public market that will make the city’s market facility to one of the best public markets in Southeast Asia with the projected construction of a state-of-the-art and green market buildings in the Magsaysay area, main market structure, Hilltop and Kayang offices, among other strategic areas within the city property.
The city chief executive pointed opined that the city may explore the possibility of a public-private partnership (PPP) or avail of the offered soft loan from the government bank to modernise the city public market, the show window of the country’s undisputed Summer Capital.
One of the present administration’s 15-point collective agenda is the modernization of the Baguio |city public market as an added tourist attraction located right at the heart of the city.
Initially, the city government will demolish the old Magsaysay building early next year and convert it into a temporary open parking area while awaiting for the implementation of the proposed market modernization project that will improve the state of the city’s main market facility.
The city government was supposed to develop the public market in 1996 through the enactment of Ordinance No. 038, series of 1995 that prescribed the guidelines for the modernization of the city market and awarded of the project to Uniwide Sales and Realty Development Corporation.
However, the project was stalled after a group of market vendors questioned the constitutionality of the ordinance and the validity of the market development contract that caused the case to be dragged up to the Supreme Court until the high tribunal declared the ordinance as constitutional and the award of the contract to Uniwide as valid several years ago.
The city government already notified Uniwide that the market development contract that it entered over two decades ago was already deemed terminated with the company’s dissolution and that it no longer intends to deal with the same for the said project.
By Dexter A. See