BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan explained that the management of the Uniwide Sales and Realty Resources Development Corporation will be given a limited time to reply to the query of the local government whether or not the company will still be allowed to do business amidst its being declared bankrupt by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that was appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA).
The local chief executive said that the action of the local government on the overdue development of the city’s public market will depend on the response of the company so that the project which was crafted 22 years ago will be realized so that the market facility will be at par with the developed market structures in neighboring urban areas in northern Luzon.
“We have to exhaust available administrative remedies to look into whether or not the company can still do business with the local government despite the bankruptcy issue that it is currently facing and now pending before the appealate court,” Domogan stressed.
He pointed out that the local government will make the necessary action on the matter as soon as Uniwide management will formally reply to our very whether or not the company can still do business even with the bankruptcy issue.
It can be recalled that sometime in 1995, the City Council passed Ordinance No. 038, series of 1995 prescribing the guidelines for the development of the city’s public market.
In august 1996, the market development contract was awarded to Uniwide that eventually forced the affected vendors to question the constitutionality of the ordinance and validity of the market development contract before a local court.
Subsequently, the court upheld the constitutionality of the ordinance and validity of the market development contract which was appealed until the case reached the Supreme Court (SC).
The SC ruled with finality the constitutionality of the market development ordinance and the validity of the contract after finding the petition of the affected vendors without merit that should serve as the go-signal for the realization of the development of the city’s market facility.
Ironically, Uniwide was declared bankrupt by the SEC and ordered the liquidation of its assets but the company appealed the SEC and the lower court ruling to the CA which is now pending the issuance of the decision.
The company was supposed to implement the P1.7 billion proposed development of the city public market but with the passage of over 22 years, the plans and cost estimates of the project shall have to be recomputed to conform with the prevailing prices of construction materials.
Domogan underscored the importance of pursuing the proposed development of the market because it is the city’s show window that is why its current state must have to be improved to be at par with the status of other market structures owned by other urban areas and first-class municipalities in the different parts of the northern Luzon area as the city’s market structures remain to be the ones that have not yet been developed over the past two decades.
By Dexter A. See