BAGUIO CITY – The City Council decided to invite the members of the Market Review Committee and officials of the Uniwide Sales and Realty Development Corporation to appear before its regular session on November 21, 2016, to shed light on various issued raised against the implementation of the long-overdue development of the city’s public market.
The members of the local legislative body agreed in the to invite both parties to get updates on how things are going in the planned market development to guide them on actions to make on a pending resolution seeking for the rescission of the 20-year old market development contract.
Earlier, the City Council passed Resolution No. 056, series of 2016 requesting the City Mayor to create a review committee to study the design, build and lease agreement entered between the local government and Uniwide sometime in 1995 and the applicability of the provisions of Ordinance No. 038, series of 1995 that prescribed the guidelines for the development of the public market.
Domogan gave the committee a maximum period of 60 days to submit its findings and recommendations to the local chief executive and to the local legislative body for information, guidance and further needed action.
However, the members of the council noted that more than 60 days have lapsed but the committee has yet to submit its comprehensive report, warranting the invitation for the committee members to inform the councilors on their findings and recommendations.
The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Ordinance no. 038, series of 1995 and the legality of the market development contract entered into by the local government and Uniwide. This paved the way for the city to start ascertaining the capacity of Uniwide to pursue the much-desired development of the public market.
The council is anchoring the proposed rescission of the market development contract on the decision of the Court of Appeals upholding the liquidation of assets of Uniwide following the decision of the Securities and Exchange Commission to subjected it to receivership.
Baguio City’s public market has been left behind in terms of upgrading it to be at par with other better public markets. It has not undergone significant improvements over the past two decades after concerned groups of market vendors questioned the legality of the market development contract due to alleged lapses in the conduct of the bidding and the award of the project to Uniwide.
The local legislative body wants to be appraised on the findings and recommendations of the created review committee to help the members come up with a definite decision on the market development contract following reports that Uniwide signified its intention to submit its detailed plans for the project that the company intends to pursue amidst the order for it to be subject to liquidation among others.
The council stated all the parties have sufficient time to prepare their respective position papers on the proposed rescission of the market development contract now pending with the Committee on Laws for study and recommendation.
By Dexter A. See