BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan underscored there will be no more extension of time that will be given to some thirty-five market building owners who refuse to have their final contracts with the local government renewed incorporating the provision for a 15-year lifespan for the renewed agreement.
The local chief executive added it will now be up to the City Legal Office to file the appropriate cases against the erring market building owners to eventually evict them from the city-owned property considering that they no longer have a live contract with the local government as their contracts expired on December 31, 2015.
“The building owners who refuse to renew their contracts cannot force the local government to remove the 15-year lifespan of the contract that is why if they do not adhere to the condition then they can already start dismantling their improvements over the city-owned lands so that the local government can already bid out the said areas to interested building owners who respect the 15-year expiration of the contract,” Domogan stressed.
Based on data obtained from the City Treasury Office, 92 of the 127 building owners occupying city-owned properties within the city public market area already agreed to renew their contracts with the city, including the 15-year expiration of the contract with the increased rental of P6 per square meter per day for the first five years with an added P2 per square meter per day for the sixth to tenth year of the contract and another P1 per square meter per day as additional rental for the eleventh to fifteenth year of the contract.
Domogan said that the inclusion of the final 15-year lifespan of the contract was an offshoot of the findings and recommendations of the Commission on Audit (COA) that the local government under-utilized the city-owned lands within the public market and that the same had to be bid out to maximize the use of the lots located within the heart of the city.
He added the building owners should be grateful to the COA because it allowed the local government to still negotiate with them for the possible increase in the rentals from a measly P0.25 per square meter per day which was later increased to P2 per square meter per day to at least give them the chance to occupy their structures and allow them to recover their investments and for them to stay in their occupied areas for the final 15 years.
According to him, the building owners occupied the lots for more than 45 years and that the additional 15-year non-extendible provision will make their total occupancy of the lots over 60 years, meaning they have already recovered their investments on their buildings and it is high time that the said structures automatically become the properties of the local government without reimbursing to the owners their expenses pursuant to the conditions of the lease contract.
Domogan appealed to the building owners who refuse to comply with the renewal of their contracts containing the 15-year lifespan to voluntarily remove their structures because they have no legal basis to continue occupying the city-owned lots considering the expiration of their contracts two years ago to prevent the local government from filing the necessary eviction charges against them.
By Dexter A. See