March 2, 2024

■  Rimaliza A. Opiña 

The city government of Baguio and SM Prime Holdings (SMPH) have concluded the terms of reference for the development of the city public market, two years since negotiations started in March 2021.

Public-Private Partnership for People Selection Committee (P4SC) chair and City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña told reporters the committee will soon schedule the signing of a document with original proponent status (OPS) holder SMPH certifying that 34 points have been successfully negotiated between the two entities, after which the latter will be required to submit a detailed engineering design.

Dela Peña said the signing of the certificate between Mayor Benjamin Magalong and SMPH President and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Lim was supposed to be on Nov. 20 but this was reset to around the first week of December as Lim is still out of the country.

After the signing of the certificate, the committee will craft a terms of reference using as basis the points of negotiation between Baguio and SMPH. The TOR the will be published preparatory to the Swiss challenge – a form of bidding where third parties may challenge the offer of the OPS holder.

Dela Peña said the committee will devote a substantial amount of time to invite more parties to the Swiss challenge.

The OPS holder has the right of first refusal, which means it has the right to match the best offer from a third party proponent.

The P4SC will then choose the proponent with the best offer and with whom the city government will enter a contract, which will be submitted to the city council for confirmation.

The P4SC is planning to publish the TOR between November and December.