The long overdue development of the city’s public market got an initial boost after the Public-Private Partnership for the People (P4) Committee approved the lease agreement modality for the multi-billion project that is aimed at making the facility one of the best markets in Southeast Asia.
City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña, chairman of the P4 Committee, said that the 4 sub-committees that were earlier created to evaluate and assess the proposals that were submitted by two giant mall developers in the country to determine which of the proponents will be awarded the original proponent status (OPS) as part of the prescribed procedures for the market development project.
The 4 sub-committees created by the P4 Selection Committee are the Socio-Economic Committee, Technical Committee, Finance Committee and Legal and Institutional Committee.
One of the 15-point collective agenda of the present administration is for the modernization of the city’s public market after the Supreme Court (SC) upheld the constitutionality of the ordinance that was passed in 1995 prescribing for the guidelines for the design and build of the market building and the validity of the contract that was entered between the local government and the interested private developer.
The city administrator explained that after the award of the OPS to the complying and responsive proponent, the local government will be given some 60 days to negotiate the terms of reference that will be published for possible challengers.
Dela Peña asserted that it does not mean that the company that will be awarded the OPS will be the implementer of the project because even the other proponents that did not qualify for the OPS will have a chance to challenge the proponent once the terms of reference will be published.
According to him, there is still a long way for the proposed market development project because of the tedious processes involved in determining the company that will eventually implement the multi-billion project that will convert the facility into one of the best market in Southest Asia.
Among the proponents for the market development project include SM Prime holdings, Robinsons Company and the Consortium of Baguio market Cooperatives.
However, he admitted that the Consortium of Baguio market Cooperatives was not able to meet the requirements to be considered as one of the aspirants to the OPS because of alleged lacking documents but the same is still allowed to challenge the OPS once the terms of reference will be published for the challenged that will be posed by interested companies.
He emphasized that once that there will be a failure of the negotiations between the company that was given the Ops and the local government on the terms of reference for the P6 billion market development project, it will be the end of the road for the project and the same will be back to square one which the city does not want to happen as the facility needs to undergo the needed improvement to be at par with other developed markets in urban areas in Northern Luzon.
By Dexter A. See