March 5, 2024

Robinsons Land Corporation and SM Prime Holdings, Inc., two of the country’s leading real estate development companies, formally tendered their offers for the master redevelopment plan of the city market.
City officials led by Mayor Benjamin Magalong and Faustino Olowan witnessed the presentations of the general plans for Robinsons by Bambie Andal on Feb. 14 and by Vice Pesident for Legal Ryan San Juan for SM on Feb. 17.
The mayor said the offers will be evaluated by the Public-Private Partnership for the People (P4) selection committee.
He said the city intends to speed up the process without resorting to shortcuts in the established procedures to ensure that only the best offer will be selected at the shortest time possible. 
He also reiterated that he will not tolerate bribery or lagay system in the selection of projects.
Magalong said two more big companies gave intentions to present their proposals in the coming days for the multi-billion project aimed to modernize the public market.
The mayor said the city’s topmost consideration in the deal will be the interest of the vendors as he assured that the vendors’ cooperative will not be left out in the in PPP venture, whichever company will be chosen.
Recently a redevelopment plan was presented by the technical working group headed by Councilor Mylen Yaranon, the architectural design of which was approved by the city council through Resolution 39-2020.
The design was for a seven-story structure including two underground floors to house the vendors with provisions for parking, sewage treatment plant, materials recovery facility, and open space comprising 30 percent of the area for alleys and parks.
The city’s trading area should have been developed in 1995 but the design-build-lease contract forged by the city government with the Uniwide Sales Realty and Resources Corporation was halted and was held hostage for more than 20 years by lawsuits filed by vendors’ groups who are opposed to the plan.
Although the city and Uniwide won the cases, the project failed to take off due to Uniwide’s ensuing insolvency problem.  – Aileen P. Refuerzo