BAGUIO CITY – The agriculture department, through the Human Settlements Development Corporation (HSDC), will turn over to the city government the administration, maintenance and operation of the Maharlika Livelihood Center in 2020 instead of the original 2025 schedule of turnover of the facility.
Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong reported having talked to the agency’s Undersecretary in charge of the HSDC who reportedly told him the agriculture department is ready to give back to the city government the said business center next year.
However, the city chief executive said the city government will manage the center but the HSDC will lease the said areas within the structure, thus, the need to clarify the same with the concerned offices prior to the acceptance of the building from the agency.
The city mayor also directed the City Building and Architecture Office (CBAO) to investigate reports on the alleged ongoing construction activities inside the structure which was not reportedly allowed by the city government for such activities to stop until such time that the earlier cease-and-desist order that was issued shall have been lifted.
Earlier, stallholders and the inconvenienced customers complained on the alleged ongoing construction activities within the Maharlika Livelihood Center for a mezzanine over the structure’s first floor but the same was stopped by the city government considering the same was not being done pursuant to construction industry standards.
The management of the Maharlika Livelihood Center applied to the concerned offices of the city government for the issuance of the appropriate permits for the put up of additional stalls on the side of the building but the same is still pending approval before the city legislative body.
Recently, Maharlika management requested the city government for another permit for the construction of a mezzanine within the structure and the same was referred to the city chief executive for approval.
City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña said there is no problem with the posts of the old Maharlika structure since the same was designed to handle 18 floors but the problem with the ongoing construction inside the facility is the integrity of the beams of the floors which should have to be checked first by experts prior to adding weight on the same.
CBAO inspectors were instructed to make a report on the status of the activities inside the Maharlika Livelihood Center as well as for them to remind the management of the existence of a cease-and-desist order issued against its construction activities until such time that the same shall we been given the go-signal by the city government.
The Maharlika management committed to concerned city officials it will submit the complete plans on the improvements that will be undertaken for scrutiny but they did not comply as shown by the on-going construction activities without the supposed documents submitted for evaluation and assessment by the city government’s technical personnel before the start of any construction activity within private and public structures in the different parts of the city.
The lot where the Maharlika Livelihood Center stands is owned by the city government while the structure was built by the government in the early 1980s.
By Dexter A. See
Photo by: Armando M. Bolislis