BAGUIO CITY – The chairman of the local legislative body’s committee on market, trade, commerce and agriculture asserted that the city’s populace will be consulted on the direction that will be embraced by the local government in pursuing the much awaited the development of the Baguio city public market.
Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. said that the legality of Ordinance No. 038, series of 1995 which prescribed the guidelines for the development of the public market and the constitutionality of the contract between the local government and Uniwide Realty and Sales Development Corporation was upheld by no less than the Supreme Court (SC) in a decision that was handed down several years ago but the de3veloper is now confronted with liquidity issues, thus, it is already incapable of pursing the market development project.
“We will first consult our people to get their consensus on how the local government will pursue the much needed development of our public market. Baguio city as a highly urbanized city should not be left out by other first class towns in Northern Luzon in terms of the state of its market that is why we need to start somewhere,” Coucnilor Yangot stressed.
He admitted that Uniwide is no longer liquid in terms of funds and assets to pursue the market development project that is why it is best for the local government to go back to the drawing board and consult the people on the type of development that should be done in the public market so that it will be at par with other market structures in first class municipalities and cities in the different parts of northern Luzon.
Acco4rding to him, the city’s show window deserves to be improved for the benefit of all stakeholders, thus, the need for the local government to strike a balance on the proposals of interest groups to prevent the future development of the public market from again being subjected to a court case that will result to unnecessary delays that will greatly affect the overall image of the city.
Yangot said the magnitude of the development of the public market will be pursuant to the clamor of the stakeholders considering the need to address numerous problems, especially that some of the old structures had been declared as fire hazard by no less than the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) that is why the State-owned Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) refuses to cover the insurance of the market structures that were erected several decades ago.
It can be recalled that the P1.7 billion market development project was awarded by the local government to Uniwide in August 1996 but the same was questioned by some groups of vendors who were not in favour of the development project because their interests will be stopped until it reached the High Court that upheld the legality of the market development ordinance and the constitutionality of the market development contract entered between the parties involved.
Uniwide had been signifying its intention to pursue the development project with the local government because of the reported presence of its partners that will help the company realize the project but the city has decided to temporarily shelve the same until such time that the plans for the project shall have been put in place upon consultations with the concerned stakeholders.
By Dexter A. See