Proposal to stop bidding of vacated market stalls nixed

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BAGUIO CITY – The City Treasury Office opposed the pending proposal in the city legislative body not to offer for bidding vacated market stalls within the different parts of the city public market until the completion of the modernized market facility.

City Treasurer Alex R. Cabarrubias claimed the proposed temporary stoppage of the public bidding and eventual awarding of the vacated market stalls in the different parts of the city public market will result to the loss in the opportunity of the city government to continue generating income from the vacated stalls that will be subjected to bidding.

He disclosed that to date, there are close to 70 stalls in the different parts of the city public market which had been vacated and are up for bidding as part of the process in the awarding of market stalls to qualified applicants.

Some city legislators agreed with the position of the City Treasurer primarily because there is sufficient time for the conduct of the bidding process, aside from the fact that it will take a longer period of time for the completion of the modernized market whose implementation has not yet actually started.

Initially, the city government programmed the completion of the modernized city public market to be at least 3 years with work divided into 4 phases.

However, the city government is now deciding on what mode to adopt to pursue the desired implementation of the modernized market due to the variety of modes for the funding of the project as the city does not have the P6 billion required to implement the project.

Cabarrubias proposed that the conduct of bidding of the vacated stalls in the different parts of the city market should be pursued to allow the city government to generate additional income as stopping this will definitely affect the projected income of the city this year potentially affecting the implementation of funded projects and delivery of basic services to the people.

Section 158 of Tax Ordinance No. 2000-001 states that,  if for any reason, a stallholder or lessee discontinues or is required to discontinue his business before the lease of the stall expires, such stall shall be considered vacant and its occupancy thereafter shall be disposed of in the manner prescribed. In case of death or incapacity of the stallholder, his or her spouse, children, parents may apply for the same stall and shall be preferred over all other applicants.

Earlier, the city legislative body passed Resolution No. 340, series of 2019, approved the master re-development plan of the Baguio City Public Market subject to conditions.

Among the modes of financing the proposed modernization of the city public market include the acquisition of a loan from government banks and accredited lending institutions, turnkey concept, joint venture and partnership with existing market cooperatives.

The development of the public market came through after the Supreme Court (SC) upheld the constitutionality of an ordinance that prescribed the rules and regulations governing the proposed rehabilitation of the public market.

By Dexter A. See

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