Negotiations on Baguio market dev’t terms of reference to start anew

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BAGUIO CITY – Negotiations between the members of the city government’s negotiating team and representatives from SM Prime holdings, Inc., the declared Original Proponent Status (OPS) for the proposed market development project, will start the 45-day negotiation process anytime to craft the agreed terms of reference for the implementation of the long-overdue improvement of the public market facility.

Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong stated that he is simply awaiting the action of the City Council on his earlier request to expand the membership of the city’s Public-Private Partnership for the People (P4) Committee for the inclusion of other respected members of the community in the negotiating team to allow the process to push through.

He said that after having received the council action on the matter, he will immediately issue the appropriate executive order that will expand the membership of the P4 Committee and the negotiating team so that the negotiating process will commence right at the state of the New Year.

The city’s chief executive claimed that the negotiating team will be composed of experts aside from representatives from the religious, academe, market vendors among other sectors to ensure that the interest of the city will be appropriate ventilated and protected for the benefit of the present and future generations.

The mayor assures that the conduct of the negotiations will be transparent for people to be aware of the proceedings that will translate to the crafting of the terms of reference which will be subjected to the Swiss challenge with the company that was granted the OPS to match the best offer.

The present administration wants to convert the city public market into one of the most modern markets in Southeast Asia and enhance the local tourism industry.

Earlier, the P4 Screening Committee awarded the OPS to Robinsons Land Corporation for the supposed implementation of the city public market development plan.

However, the mayor created a separate evaluation committee that decided to recommend the issuance of the OPS to SM Prime holdings to allow the process to go to the negotiation stage where the committee is given approximately 80 days to complete the same.

Interested companies from the different parts of the world willing to develop the city public market can participate when the terms of reference for the project shill be opened to the Swiss challenge within a reasonable period of time to ensure that the company with the best offer will be the one to be awarded the multi-billion project.

The city planned to develop the public market in 1995 but the same was stalled by a court case that dragged until the Supreme Court (SC) that ruled on the constitutionality of the ordinance prescribing the guidelines for the market development and the validity of the derivative contract for the project.

By Dexter A. See

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