Baguio crafts strategies on market development

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BAGUIO CITY  – The local government is currently crafting the appropriate strategies to free the city from its contractual obligations with Uniwide Sales realty and Resources Corporation, the winning bidder of the long overdue development of the public market, and implement the present administration’s agenda for a modernized market.

Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong presented to city officials the legal opinion of a corporate counsel, lawyer Sandy Coronel, who happens to be his friend, that provided the details on the current situation that the local government is being confronted and the steps to be undertaken for the city to be able to pursue the development of the public market on a scale that will be acceptable to the concerned stakeholders.

Based on the legal opinion that was obtained by the local chief executive, the city mayor will be writing the market developer regarding the company’s contractual obligations on the development of the public market aside from obtaining the pertinent documents duly certified on the proceeding with the liquidating court and the court decisions that dissolved the company considering that the dissolution was already upheld by the Supreme Court (SC).

Further, the corporate counsel also recommended for the local legislative body to pass a resolution that will declare the Uniwide contract as deemed terminated by operation of law considering the dissolution of the company that was supposed to undertake the proposed market development project.

Magalong solicited the positions of the members of the local legislative body on the appropriate action that should be taken by the local government so that the city will be moving towards a unified direction wherein it was agreed that the mayor will be sending the letter to the company side from obtaining the pertinent documents related to the same that will serve as a basis for the collective effort of local legislators.

On August 24, 1996, the local government entered into an agreement with Uniwide for the implementation of the proposed development of the Baguio city public market which was questioned by concerned groups of market vendors and other stakeholders.

After a lengthy legal battle, the constitutionality of the ordinance that prescribed the rules and regulations for the rehabilitation and development of the public market and the validity of the contract that was an offshoot of the said measure was upheld by the Supreme Court.

In 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ordered the dissolution of Uniwide and its attached companies which was appealed by the said company until it was favorably acted upon by the SC.

Magalong disclosed that based on the submissions of Uniwide with the liquidating court, the city public market was not include in the list of properties that were supposed to be subject for liquidation which could be used by the local government to free itself from the dissolved developer so that it can proceed with the proposed development of the market in consultations with the concerned stakeholders.

One of the 15-point collective agenda of the present administration is for the put up of a modernized public market to cater to the snowballing clamor for a better state of the public market.

By Dexter A. See

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