Council forms body to study changes in market dev’t modality

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The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, tasked the Committee on Laws, Human Rights and Justice to study the proposal of the Public-Private Partnership for the People (P4) Screening Committee to amend an existing resolution expanding the modality for the proposed development of the city public market.

City legislators opted to allow the designated committee to look into whether or not an amendment is needed on an earlier resolution that adopted the design for the development of the public market by consultants and for the local government to undertake the multi-billion project using local funds or to obtain a loan from banks and other financial institutions to implement the multi-billion project.

Earlier, the Council passed Resolution No. 039 that approved the architectural design of the master development plan for the Baguio City public market subject to minor revisions.

Subsequently, the council approved Resolution No. 134, series of 2020 that authorized Mayor Magalong representing the city, to enter into a memorandum of agreement with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) for a loan agreement of P4.3 billion for city projects.

The Council, by virtue of Resolution No. 193, series of 2020, also authorized Mayor Magalong to create a technical working group or committee to formulate a master development plan for the Baguio city public market.

Resolution No. 340 approved the master development plan for the Baguio City public market submitted by the technical working group or committee subject to conditions.

According to the Council, the assigned committee should make the appropriate recommendations on what resolutions must be amended to incorporate the recommendations of the P4 body to advance the city government’s plan to pursue the development of the market facility and expand the possible options of undertaking this development though the use of available city funds, obtaining a loan, or through public-private partnership with qualified corporations.

The city’s Local Finance Committee previously stipulated that the city cannot afford to solely fund the put up of the proposed 7-storey market structure within the 3-hectare property that is being proposed to cover the footprint of the structure because the P4 billion being eyed for the project has been already appropriated.

Moreover, the proposed loan to bankroll the implementation of the multi-billion project is not also feasible based on the finding of the finance committee because the city’s 20 percent local development fund will be tied up for the duration of the loan to pay the interest and amortization of the borrowed money.

The P4-SC is on the process of ascertaining which among the two companies that submitted their unsolicited proposals will be issued the Original Proponent Status (OPS) for the said project prior to proceeding with the negotiation for the final terms of reference which will be subjected to the Swiss challenge from the losing proponent and other companies that have signified their interest to build the city public market building.

Under the submitted proposals, SM Prime Holdings Inc. stated its willingness to spend P5.4 billion for the put up of the single 7-storey structure while Robinsons Land Corporation will shell out some P6.4 billion to put up two buildings where one of them will be owned by the city and the other will be its mixed use complex.

By Dexter A. See

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