BAGUIO CITY – The city government will continue consulting with concerned stakeholders in order to gather their inputs in relation to the planned development of the public market once the Supreme Court (SC) will rule on the motion for reconsideration filed by some vendors questioning the legality of the market development contract and the constitutionality of the ordinance prescribing the rules for the development of the market passed in 1995.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said that all concerned stakeholders will be involved in ascertaining what type of development will be undertaken in the public market once all pending legal issues will be resolved by the SC.
“We have to agree that our public market needs to be developed. We will be making several rounds of consultations with concerned stakeholders once the SC will finally rule on the pending motion for reconsideration filed by some vendors seeking to reverse its earlier decision uphdolding the validity and legality of the contract and the constitutionality of the market development ordinance,” Domogan stressed.
Uniwide Realty Sales and Development Corporation, the winning bidder for the 7-storey public market structure having a total project cost of P1.7 billion in 1995, signified its intention to push through with the implementation of the market development because it still has partners that will help the corporation realize the project, provided that, it will be given six months to submit a revised program of work among other pertinent requirements.
It can be recalled that the plan to develop the city public market originated from the market vendors themselves through Resolution No. 1 and No. 2 that eventually convinced the city council to pass Ordinance No. 038, series of 1995 prescribing the rules and regulations for the development of the city public market.
The city mayor advised the group of market vendors to organize a corporation or cooperative so that they could actively participate in the bidding process and become the partner of the city in the development of the market but when the bidding was scheduled in August 1996, the vendors did not organize that allowed Uniwide to win the bid.
Some vendors questioned the validity and legality of the market development contract and the constitutionality of the ordinance before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) but the RTC decided in favor of the city government upholding the validity and legality of the contract and the constitutionality of the ordinance.
The vendors appealed the lower court’s decision to the Court of Appeals (CA) but they again lost that forced them to bring the matter to the SC where they again lost that resulted to their filing a motion for reconsideration that is now pending ruling.
He said it is high time that the city market structures will be developed because the city has been left behind in terms of the state of its public market compared to nearby cities and first-class municipalities like in San Fernando City, La Union; Urdaneta City, Pangasinan; Bauang, La Union among other local governments in Northern Luzon.
By Dexter A. See