The Public-Private Partnership for the People selection committee (P4SC) is now preparing to move to the next stage in the process of selecting the best offer for the market modernization project after SM Prime Holdings Inc. formally expressed conformity to the Original Proponent Status (OPS) granted to it.
City Administrator and P4SC Chair Bonifacio Dela Peña told the Management Committee (Mancom) headed by Mayor Benjamin Magalong last Oct. 28 that with SM’s acceptance, they can now move on to the next step which is the negotiation process.
He said the committee will convene again soon to constitute the negotiating panel and set the terms and talking points.
The committee met last Oct. 27 and discussed the implications of the mayor’s Oct. 14 decision to refuse the offer of Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC) contrary to the recommendation of the committee and instead grant the OPS to SMPHI.
Dela Peña said they agreed to transmit the records to the Dept. of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the PPP Center and all the proponents for information.
Some members questioned the propriety of the mayor’s decision to award the OPS to SM instead of returning the matter to the committee for reconsideration.
Dela Peña however said the mayor complied with the law’s provision that should he go against the decision of the committee, he will provide justifications through a resolution. He said the mayor submitted documents explaining his action.
Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan who revealed he voted for RLC took exemption from alleged insinuations that they received money in exchange for the vote maintaining that RLC complied with the requirements and submitted a more advantageous offer.
Coun. Betty Lourdes Tabanda asked if the committee could have disqualified RLC at the outset on the premise of the mayor’s statement that the company’s offer was lacking and if the committee could have just directly made a recommendation instead of voting.
Dela Peña said both complied with the requirements as to form but as to substance, other documents were requested from both parties during the review to supplement their proposals and SMPHI complied while RLC did not.
He said both RLC and SMPHI were able to submit the four basic documentary requirements required initially to be accepted. The market cooperatives group’s proposal had not been accepted at the outset for lacking some legal documents which were basic requirements as to form.
Coun. Mylen Yaranon said, “there is doubt whether or not the mayor said substitute a decision, or just veto or not and go back to zero or whether he is authorized to award the OPS” and this she said has to be resolved.
The mayor earlier said he cannot accept the offer of RLC for being deficient and disadvantageous to the city government.
He stressed that his decision was done in the name of fairness and in compliance with the P4 Ordinance which mandates that proposals be evaluated objectively and based on merit. – Aileen P. Refuerzo