LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Newly installed Municipal legal officer Mauricio Cating Jr. said documents on the Jarco mall project are now undergoing scrutiny in accordance with orders of Mayor Gregorio Abalos‘s 10-day ultimatum on the issue.

Cating said: “I will be going to National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) to validate permits and other papers.”

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Abalos contended that a Neda Investment Coordination Committee (NEDA-ICC) approval is needed before construction of the mall could be pursued.

Abalos cited a provision in the Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) guidelines requiring an ICC approval before proceeding.

The ICC is mandated to evaluate specific major capital project with respect to their technical, financial, economic, social, environmental and institutional development feasibility/viability and from the context of sectoral plans and geographical strategies. The committee recommends the projects to the Neda board for confirmation of its approvals.

In his inaugural speech, Abalos gave himself 10 days review the Jarco mall deal before deciding whether to scrap or continue with it.

Under the contract, Jarco will develop a 3,910 square meter costing around P268 million. (Maria Elena Catajan)