June 21, 2024

Negotiations in the development of the Baguio City public market is mo-ving forward despite adjustments in the timeline set before a final terms of reference is decided.

Public-Private Partnership for People Selection Committee chair and City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña said the city government has requested original proponent holder, SM Prime Holdings Inc., to add another floor in the proposed building to accommodate 300 more vendors.

In the negotiations in December 2021, SM Prime agreed to occupy 30 percent and 70 percent for market space.

Dela Peña said of the 4,000 legitimate vendors, only 3,700 can be accommodated at the ground floor to the third floor. To accommodate the remaining vendors, the P4 Committee has suggested that SM Prime to accommodate the remaining 300, on another floor.

SM Prime has yet to give a feedback on the committee’s counter proposal.

Dela Peña said the committee is hopeful that in one year, they will be able to iron out the terms of development to pave way for the crafting of a terms of reference to be submitted to the city council for confirmation and to allow for the Swiss Challenge to take place.

Dela Peña said the committee did not anymore strictly adhere to prescribed timeline in negotiation because of the many terms both parties have to agree on.

“The negotiations will take time and it is critical because it involves about 4,000 vendors. What is important is the local government and the vendors agree that the market should be developed. Nagkakatalo na lang sa kung paano mag-benefit ang parties concerned,” dela Peña said.

Initial terms include for the proponent to develop the main market and the relocation site at the Slaughterhouse Compound at no cost to the city.

The proponent, on the other hand, will earn from the lease of spaces at the main market in the area it will occupy for a period of at most, 50 years.

Dela Peña said there are no final terms yet on how long the proponent will occupy as this could also be shorter depending on the progress of negotiations.

In a press conference last May 10, Mayor Benjamin Magalong declared that development of the market will be pursued despite issues raised about the plan.

He said the development has been politicized but he assured that the negotiation is not yet a done deal.  – Rimaliza A. Opiña