Panabo City Council told: Fast-track ordinance for market operation

Panabo City Council told: Fast-track ordinance for market operation
Panabo CIO

PANABO City Mayor Jose E. Relampagos appealed to the 9th City Council to fast-track the ordinance for the operationalization of the city's market complex so that it would provide the city with additional revenue and serve the Panaboans the way it is supposed to be.

In a press conference at the Panabo City Hall on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, Relampagos answered one-by-one the issues hurled by some councilors about the P447.24-million market complex, saying it's up to the city council now when they intend to make the market complex operational.

"Pag-start nato ana, na-delay atong construction kay dili nato ma-contest ang nature. Ang weather nato... actually ang atong contractor of that project is... nagrequest sila og extension and giaprobahan sa Engineering Department including the mayor of the City of Panabo. Na-delay na among construction nga naka-stagnant karon (og) matud pa nila... dugay nahuman, musamot na og ka-delay kung ang ilang ordinansa dili gyud mahuman kay dili man ta ka-operate kung walay ordinance of the legislative body sa Panabo (When we start the project, its construction was delayed because we could not contest nature, our weather... actually, our contractor of that project requested an extension of the deadline for completion of the project which was approved by the Engineering Department and the City Mayor of Panabo. The construction of the project, which is now stagnant, was delayed and will further be delayed if they won't finish the ordinance because we cannot operate if there is no ordinance of the legislative body of Panabo)," Relampagos said.

In a privilege speech by Councilor Dizon Namuag, the chairperson for the committee on public works infrastructure and parks & plaza, he questioned why the city conducted a blessing ceremony for the building when it doesn't have a certificate of completion to show. He added that there are still many construction issues that needed to be fixed according to the punch list made after the inspection.

He also raised the issue of having the city "subsidize" the payment for the loan it took from Land Bank of the Philippines for the project as well as the expensive rental rates at the market complex.

Relampagos answered that a certificate of completion is not needed to hold a blessing ceremony, which was held in April of this year, as this does not mean the building will be turned over to the renters. He added that the certificate of completion was handed over by the City Engineer's Office in May of the same year, contrary to claims that it was released just a day following the "blessing" of the building.

Concerning the punch list, the city mayor said the construction issues were all petty and non-vital to the structure, such as cracked paints, and these were all addressed before the certificate of completion was handed over by the City Engineer.

As to the expensive rental rates proposed by the executive department, Relampagos said at the end of the day, it is the legislative body's prerogative what rates they would want to implement since this will be included in the ordinance the council will be crafting.

"Ang rate nga akong gi-endorse sa ilaha under modified by the council, sila'y nay jurisdiction nga muusab para ma-finalize ang maong rental amount. Pag-wala silay any recommendation until now stagnant important nila nga humanon nila ang ordinansa. Og gusto nila nga himuong barato, entitled sila kay sila ang legislative body (The rate that I endorsed to them is open for modification by the council since it is them who have the jurisdiction to modify the rental rates, to finalize the rental amount. If they have no recommendation, until now stagnant, what's important is for them to finish the ordinance. If they want the rental rates cheaper, then they are entitled to do so because they are the legislative body)," he said.

On the payment for the loan, the mayor said the city released over P3 million in February 2023 and not P10 million as claimed. 

The mayor also clarified that it is normal for a project funded through a loan to pay on a staggered basis, even if it is not yet earning.

"Normal na siya kay by releasing man gud ni, dili man gud ni instant release of the amount of P450 million, the releasing is staggered based on the accomplishment," he said.

Moreover, Relampagos also answered the allegation that the executive body refused to name the project's contractor, saying that if the legislative body really wanted to verify the authenticity, name, and address of the contractor, they could do it even earlier by just approaching the Bidding and Awards Committee (BAC). 

The Panabo City Market Complex is a three-storey building project located in Barangay New Pandan.

Its Phase 2 Construction (Design and Build Scheme), which started in 2022, is worth P447,234,876.18 from Supplemental Budget No. 1 - LFP 2021 of the Panabo City Government.

The Panabo City Market Complex based on the approved council study has a building floor area of 10,041.85 square meters (sqm) with a rentable area per floor of 2,016 sqm and 155 slots for parking area. 

It is equipped with 168 rentable stalls at 36 sqm each. CEA

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