SM, Robinsons offer to develop Baguio City public market

BAGUIO CITY — Real estate development  giants SM Prime Holdings Inc., and Robinsons Land Corporation has formally offered to develop the city public market.

Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the offers of SM and Robinsons will be evaluated by the city’s Public-Private Partnership for the People (P4) selection committee subject to PPP rules.

Bambi Andal of Robinsons and SM Vice Prime Vice President for legal Ryan San Juan presented their general plans to Magalong and Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan on February 14 and February 17 respectively.

Magalong emphasized that the city intends to speed up the process without resorting to shortcuts in the established procedures to ensure that only the best offer will be selected at the shortest time possible. 

The mayor reiterated that he will not tolerate bribery in the selection of projects.

Magalong also disclosed that two more big companies have served intention to present proposals in the coming days for the multi-billion project aimed to modernize the public market.

The mayor vowed the vendors’ cooperative at the public market will not be left out. In fact, they will be “the city’s topmost consideration in the deal will be the interest of the existing vendors.”

Recently a redevelopment plan was presented by the Technical Working Group headed by Councilor Mylen Yaranon, the architectural design of which was approved by the city council through Resolution No. 39-2020.

The said design was for a seven-storey structure including two underground floors to house the vendors with provisions for parking, sewage treatment plant, materials recovery facility and open space comprising 30 percent of the area for alleys and parks.

The city’s trading area should have been developed back in 1995 but the design-build-lease contract forged by the city government with the Uniwide Sales Realty and Resources Corporation was halted and held hostage for more than 20 years by lawsuits filed by opposing vendors’ groups.

Although the city and Uniwide won the cases, the project failed to take off due to Uniwide’s insolvency.