Mayor Magalong asks to let market development project to push through

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Mayor Benjamin Magalong committed he will not allow the public market development project to push once he sees it will be disadvantageous to the city.

But he appealed to the public to let the negotiations take its course because the people of Baguio deserve to have a modernized market once and for all.

During his weekly Ugnayan last Sept. 22, the mayor said he made the right decision to veto the recommendation of the Public-Private Partnership for the People Selection Committee to award the Original Proponent Status to Robinsons Corp, and grant it to SM Prime Holdings instead.

He said there is no truth to the claim that he violated the PPP Ordinance when he created an ad hoc committee to review the unsolicited proposals of the two proponents.

He said the opinion issued by the PPP Center based on a resolution transmitted to it by the city council is flawed. “It is based on flawed information because it is not true that I only based my decision on the findings of the ad hoc committee,” Magalong said.

The ad hoc committee reported that the proposal of SM Prime Holdings is more substantial and provided complete documents while that of Robinsons lacked substance and its representatives refused to when the city requested for additional information and documents.

Magalong said he wrote the P4 selection committee and asked the body to transmit to his office the proposals of the proponents, which showed same the same findings.

Inspite of the findings, the P4 selection committee, voting 7 to 4, still recommended to grant the OPS to Robinsons.

He said there was something wrong in the OPS grant reason why he gave it to SM Prime Holdings.  Magalong said he could not allow the P4 selection committee decision to prevail because it would send a wrong message that the city does not know how to handle PPP projects if it does not evaluate unsolicited proposals and allows a questionable process to take place. He said the city will undertake the market development project with transparency and through good governance.

“We are conducting the market development is a very transparent manner. Let us allow the process besides the OPS award to SM is not yet final. We are under the negotiation stage and still have a long way to go,” he said.

But he guaranteed he will not allow it to push through if it turns out to be disadvantageous to the city.