BAGUIO CITY September 11 – The proposal to once and for all develop the city public market under a public-private partnership (PPP) modality might take some time to be realized after Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong rejected the recommendation of the Public-private partnership for the People – Selection Committee (P4-SC) to award the Original Proponent Status (OPS) to Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC) because the body was not able to perform its assigned task pursuant to Ordinance No. 61, series of 2017 otherwise known as the Baguio City Private-Public Partnership for the people initiative Code.
In a statement, the mayor stated that the P4-SC was supposed to make an initial evaluation of the submitted unsolicited proposals of Robinsons and SM Prime holdings.
He claimed that the committee clearly noted the critical deficiencies of the purportedly winning proposal.
While the noted deficiencies would have merited outright rejection of Robinsons proposal, he pointed out that some committee voting members opted to set aside the initial evaluation and instead favored the said proposal.
Under Section 18 or Ordinance No. 61, series of 2017, the P4-SC should determine completeness of unsolicited proposals at the very onset.
“I am probing into possible reasons as to why this episode even happened. I would like to assure our constituents that I am after what is right, what is fair, what is just,” the mayor stressed.
He added that he, together with selected department heads and distinguished consultants, will conduct an objective evaluation of the unsolicited proposals based on merit, contents and substance.
For the purpose of transparency, he caused the publication of the reports made by the different P4-SC sub-committees on the unsolicited proposals on the re-development of the city public market.
Further, he tasked the City Public Information Office to provide ready copies of related documents for perusal of the interested constituents because he subscribes by good governance beyond politics.
Likewise, he assured that the local government will maintain the good housekeeping that started when he assumed the city’s leadership.
Earlier, 5 members of the P4-SC voted in favor of recommending the grant of the OPS to Robinsons, 2 members voted to grant the OPS to SM prime holdings while 2 members abstained.
The local government opted to embrace the PPP modality for the proposed re-development of the city public market after assessing that the city’s available funds could not bankroll the multi-billion project alone while obtaining loans from banks that offered to provide the needed capitalization for the P6 billion project is also not feasible because of the huge amortization required from the city.
The city plans to modernize the public market after nearly 3 decades of being hostage by the case that was filed by concerned vendor associations against the earlier decision of the local government to have the same developed through the design, build and lease concept.
Dexter A. See/Baguio PIO