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The city is inclined to pursue the proposed multi-billion public market development project because the city deserves to have a modern market similar to established market facilities in urban centers around the country.
Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong stated that he will forgo the proposed market development project if he finds the same disadvantageous to the city but there is a need to allow the ongoing process in the selection of the local government’s partner in the said undertaking to proceed as scheduled.
At present, the city’s Public-Private Partnership for the People – Selection Committee (P4-SC) and SM Prime Holdings, which was earlier given the Original Proponent Status (OPS) by the said committee for the said project, are in the negotiation stage for the final terms of reference for the proposed P6 billion city public market development project.
He pointed out that it is high time that the market will be developed because the facility is already environmentally unsafe, it is the dirtiest market in the country aside from being disorderly and is one of the major causes of pollution of the major river system due to the absence of the appropriate sewerage treatment plant that is supposed to treat wastewater before being discharged to the different bodies of water.
According to him, it is unfortunate that the people who had been helping the local government craft the market development project are now the ones vocal against the implementation of the project when the same is geared towards putting up a modern market as the city had been left out in terms of having an improved market facility.
One of the present administration’s 16-point collective development agenda is for the modernization of the city public market to be able to have a market facility that will be at part with the public markets of other urban centers in the different parts of the country.
The local chief executive disclosed that the local government already transmitted all the documents of the market development project to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) to ascertain the city’s compliance to the established guidelines governing the implementation of public-private partnership projects to once and for all put an end to the issues being raised by the critics against the said project and for the same to proceed as planned.
Earlier, the local government came out with a 34-point terms of reference which is now the subject of the ongoing negotiations with the mall developer for the market development project to be realized once both parties will agree on the said prescribed terms.
However, if both parties will have disagreements on one of the 34-point terms, then the proposed market development will no longer proceed to the next step under the prescribed 19step procedure contained under the city’s P4 ordinance and that the it will be back to the drawing board for the P4-SC to ascertain what will be the most feasible way of pursuing the project.
The local government offered the proposed market development project to interested developers under the public-private partnership scheme where Robinsons Land Corporation and SM Prime Holdings ended up to be the qualified proponents based on the guidelines. In the end, the city issued the OPS to SM Prime Holdings after having evaluated the same to have complied with the governing regulations of the city’s P4 ordinance. By Dexter A. See