Public market negotiation starts January

NEGOTIATION for the Baguio City Public Market starts next year.

Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the process for negotiation will begin January 2021 with a multispectral group formed for transparency.

The mayor is set to issue an executive order as the year ends pending council approval, as he assured of transparency and good governance.

Magalong said the group is comprised of vendors, the business and religious sector, the academe who are well represented and independent minded with the city advisory group.

The mayor said when the negotiation starts next year, the nine-day process will begin.

Previously, Magalong signed Memorandum 433 series of 2020, awarding the Original Proponent Status (OPS) to SM Prime Holdings Incorporated (SMPI), disapproving the previous award to Robinsons Land Corporation (RLP), in a decision causing debate among legislators and the public.

City Administrator and People Selection Committee (P4-SC) head Bonifacio Dela Pena assured no corruption has tainted decisions made.

The P4-SC is spearheading the creation of a negotiating panel, which will be divided into technical and financial teams, composed to the P4-SC members and people Magalong has assigned to act as observers but will have no power to vote on any matter.

In the midst of the debate on the issue, Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan signified his decision to get out of the P4-SC, saying he can no longer help in the crafting of the best agreement for the city.

Councilor Philian Weygan Allan, meanwhile, pushed to probe the process of selection for the city public market.

Allan said there are allegations of corruption hounding the now controversial move to develop the public market with private partners, and she would like this to be cleared for the information of all.

Allan said the investigation will help clear the air on whispers of corruption, which can be tackled in the city's legislative branch.

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