Maharlika to be turned over to Baguio by 2025

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BAGUIO CITY  – The city government announced the agriculture department, through the Human Settlements Development Corporation (HSDC), will be turning over to the city the management and operation of the Maharlika Livelihood Center by 2025 or upon the expiration of the contract governing the use of the structure located right at the heart of the city.

Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong claimed he personally talked to Agriculture Secretary William Dar who committed that the turnover of the Maharlika Livelihood Center to the city government will only happen after the expiration of the contract on 2025.

Earlier, the city chief executive disclosed the agriculture department through the HSDC will turnover the management and operation of the building to the city government based on his supposed talks with the Undersecretary in charge of the same.

He added the agriculture department is also currently working out the resolution of the internal conflict among officials managing the operation of the center and for the transparent and accountable operation of the livelihood center.

The  resolution that created the livelihood center stipulated that on April 28, 1972, the city legislative body and M.G. Suntay entered into an agreement to undertake the construction, operation, and management of a multi-story supermarket and complex shopping center to be known as the Maharlika Livelihood Complex.

Initially, the lifespan of the agreement was for 25 years from the date of completion of the project as the counterpart of the city government for the put up of the facility was its prime lot located right at the heart of the city.

On May 1972, M.G. Suntay executed a deed of assignment over said project in favor of MAR-BAY and Co., Inc.

Moreover, on April 16, 1975, pursuant to Resolution No. 41, series of 1975, the lease period was increased to 50 years commencing on April 28, 1975 and will end on April 27, 2025.

On August 14, 1980, the resolution noted that a memorandum of agreement was entered and executed by and between MAR-BAY and Co. Inc., and HSDC whereby the first party agreed to negotiate the transfer and assignment of the leasehold rights, inclusive of all improvements introduced or constructed therein such as the MAR-BAY Baguio Plaza Hotel and MAR-BAY shopping center, in favor of HSDC.

Previously, the city government ordered the Maharlika management and the contractor of the ongoing improvements in the building to cease and desist from pursuing the implementation of the project because of alleged questions on the integrity of the structures that will be introduced to put up the proposed mezzanine which will already affect the ambience of the place.

The City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO) was directed to validate the compliance of the Maharlika management to the cease and desist order and for the same to submit to the city government the detailed plans and specifications of the project that will be implemented within the structure for evaluation and review.

By Dexter A. See
Photo by: Armando M. Bolislis

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