THE Baguio government’s ambitious plan to redevelop its public city market is “nearly done with negotiations,” according to City Administrator Bonifacio Dela Peña.
“We have been working through the 34 terms to negotiate on for the past years, but we are now down to the last two terms to negotiate. We are just finalizing the unit cost and the area, whether it is parking, whether it is for other use, we are just finalizing it,” Dela Peña said.
“Once we have finalized those details, we are done with the negotiation process and we can move on to the terms of reference, and then the Swiss challenge,” he added.
Dela Peña also allayed concerns from opposing parties, especially from current market stall owners, saying that the finalized plans will address their needs.
“Well, those who oppose are because we still cannot divulge the whole features of the new market. But I am from the market, and I know that this is the only way, which was adopted by our city council. The only way that we can redevelop the market is through PPP (public-private partnership) method. We took a long time on the negotiation process because we had to make sure that the interests of the citizens of Baguio are protected,” Dela Peña said.
The city administrator also emphasized that under the new market, vendors will only be allowed to have one stall per person.
“Most of the people opposing this venture have multiple stalls because they will lose their stores. What we will allow is one stall per individual, you cannot lease it, you cannot even sell it under our policy,” Dela Peña said.
According to Dela Peña, part of the delay was due to negotiations to acquire another floor of the planned facility for vendor use to accommodate all the existing public market vendors.
“They are also asking for more benefits, so we are negotiating. Hopefully, we can finish the negotiations by the end of the month,” Dela Peña said.