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BAGUIO CITY – The city government disclosed the proposed P6 billion market development plan will be undertaken in four phases spread over a period of three years.
Based on the presentation of the city’s technical working group (TWG) for the development of the Baguio City Public Market, the facility will be a 5-storey structure with a provision of a 2-basement parking that will occupy a 3-hectare footprint 30 percent of which will be dedicated for pen spaces, parks and other spacious use to boost the culturally-inspired market structure.
The modernized market structure will be able to accommodate some 4,000 market vendors equitably distributed in the 4 sections – wet, vegetables and fruits, dry and other merchandise – to ensure orderliness inside the new public facility right at the heart of the city.
The city government is currently assessing the modalities of funding for the project which can be through a loan from existing banks in the city, turn key, joint venture or partnership with local cooperatives in the city public market, but it is preferred to have a modified joint venture and partnership with city cooperatives considering that market vendors who are members of cooperatives have signified to raise some P2 billion as their counterpart for the market modernization project.
Initially, 546 vendors will be displaced in the first phase of the project, 791 in the second phase of the project while over 1,000 vendors will be displaced in the third phase and another over 1,000 vendors will be relocated in the last phase of the project.
The city government is pursuing the long-overdue development of the city public market after the Supreme Court declared the constitutionality of Ordinance No. 038, series of 1995 which prescribed the guidelines for the rehabilitation and upgrading of the city public market and the validity of the contract entered between the city and Uniwide Realty and Sales Resources Corporation.
However, the city government deemed the contract between Uniwide and the city as terminated following a ruling from the high tribunal upholding a decision of the lower court declaring the company as insolvent.
The identified relocation sites of the vendors displaced during the implementation of the multi-billion market development project will be the Rabbit sinkhole and the Ganza Parking Area where a 2-level collapsible structure will be erected to serve as the temporary vending area for the relocated vendors.
The rental for the leased areas in the different parts of the modernized market will be pegged at P50 per square meter per day depending on the spaces to be occupied by the vendors in the different sections although the rate is expected to vary based on the mode of financing that will be adopted by the city government for the realization of a modernized public market that will serve as a show window of the city.
By DEXTER A. SEE