BAGUIO CITY – The city government is currently looking for a joint venture for the proposed multi-million development of the Baguio city public market to help improve the current situation in the city’s show window.
Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong said a number of corporations with track records on the development of markets signified their intention to be the city’s partner in the proposed development of the city’s public market to make it one of the best markets in the Southeast Asian region.
However, he claimed informed these potential joint venture partners of the city government not to further adjust the projected rentals of the stalls for the vendors that will make these unaffordable to vendors.
The city chief executive stated the city government will be willing to increase the number of storeys of the planned structures aside from agreeing to the put up of additional basement parking for the joint venture partners of the city to recover their investment in the development of the city’s public market.
The conceptual development plan of the Baguio public market which has an initial project cost of P2.5 billion that suddenly increased to P6 billion is now being subjected to public consultations for inputs from stakeholders on how to further enhance the said plan before the preparation of the detailed plans and specifications of the multi-billion project.
The city’s public market was supposed to have been developed and upgraded as early as 1996 if not for the case filed by various associations of vendors that questioned the constitutionality of the ordinance that prescribed the rules and regulations for the development of the facility and the validity of the contract that was an offshoot of the aforesaid ordinance that dragged up to the Supreme Court (SC) for over two decades.
In 2016, the SC came out with a decision that dismissed the case filed by the different associations of market vendors and upheld the constitutionality of the market development ordinance and the validity of the contract entered into between the city government and the controversial Uniwide Realty Sales and Resources Development Subsequently, the earlier decision of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that declared Uniwide to be insolvent was also upheld by the High Court that prompted the city government to consider the contract as deemed terminated so that it can pursue other options on how to proceed with the development of the market facility being the city’s major show window to visitors frequenting the city.
The Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) offered the city government a P10 billion credit facility for the development of the city’s public market which has been left out by other public markets located in neighboring first-class municipalities in the other parts of Northern Luzon, thus, the need for the city to already proceed with the proposed development by updating the earlier plans that were prepared for the said purpose./Dexter A. See