June 21, 2024

On the city mayor’s award of OPS to SM on market dev’t

Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong’s move to award the original proponent status (OPS) to SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SMPHI)’s unsolicited proposal to rehabilitate the city public market only goes to show that the mayor is keener on favoring the interests of big corporations rather than the citizens he is supposed to serve.
The city executive’s move comes as clamor for the defense of the city market from mall giants like SM and Robinsons has been intensified. This is when the consortium of local market cooperatives has already developed and presented a challenging, more viable, and equally impressive proposal against those of the mall giants.
We, at Tongtongan ti Umili, denounce the city executive’s awarding of OPS to SM.
While the battle for the rehabilitation of the city market still goes a long way, this news clearly shows the ongoing corporate takeover of a city that is already plagued with problems brought about by the entry of large-scale, destructive, profit-centric development.
We call on the citizens of Baguio to unite against this impending threat to our public market by reliving the struggles and lessons we saw these past years. We cannot let another corporate giant stake its claim in yet another public space. — TONGTONGAN TI UMILI, Baguio City