January 29, 2023

Councilor Fred Bagbagen asked his colleagues to come up with an independent decision regarding the multi-billion market development project and not to rely on the recommendations of the executive department.
“We should not solely depend on the executive body’s recommendation but, instead, on what we (legislative body) believe is (good) for the City of Baguio,” Bagbagen said.
He added it would be better for the council to first focus on the “general concept” of market development before nitpicking the specifics.
“We are being bogged down by details. If we go into details immediately, we will not be able to move forward. Let us first look at the general concept then decide if we agree with the public-private partnership (PPP) modality. This is not an end-all agreement right now after all. We will be given time anyway to re-study the details of these proposals,” Bagbagen said.
The city council earlier requested the City Budget Office to present a comparative analysis of all the financial modalities for the construction of a multi-level public market.
Members of the council, however, felt the comparative analysis fell short as it did not contain “recommendations” that would aid them arrive at a sound decision on what to adopt as development mode for the market.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong advised the city council to decide on its own, even if he admitted that if he was going to decide, he prefers the PPP modality.
“The reason why we are not very aggressive in recommending the PPP modality is because we are giving the P4 Selection Committee independence and we don’t want to influence you,” Magalong said.
The mayor, however, urged the legislative body to waste no time in their decision-making. – Jordan G. Habbiling