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Baguio market facelift bidding still open

Aldwin Quitasol

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The redevelopment of the public market is long overdue. (Photo by LCL Doctolero)

BAGUIO CITY — There is yet no deal with a giant mall operator to redevelop the public market here, so the bidding for the project is still open to other developers.

Baguio City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña made the assurance amid speculations that the project is a done deal with either SM Prime Holdings Inc. (SPHI) or Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC).

Dela Peña said companies from different parts of the country with proven track record in putting up markets of the same magnitude can still participate in the bidding for the P6-billion project through “Swiss challenge.”

Dela Peña heads the city’s Public-Private Partnership for the People – Screening Committee (P4-SC) tasked to evaluate which of the remaining development proponents will be given Original Proponent Status (OPS).

Based on the city’s P4 ordinance, the determination of the OPS is part of the 19-step process in determining the company that will be given the go-signal to push through with the proposed redevelopment of the public market, Dela Peña said.

The project will be given to a proponent based on how it measures up to the socio-economic, financial, legal and technical criteria, he added.

Only SPHI and RLC remain in contention for the bidding.

The city administrator claimed the P4-SC process takes at least 8 months to a year from the acceptance of the unsolicited proposals up to the awarding of the OPS status.

After determination of the OPS, Dela Peña said there will be a negotiation as to the terms of reference based on the city’s financial projections and the proposal of the OPS holder. The agreed terms will then be published.

Thereafter, qualified bidders can match the offer made by the OPS holder under a Swiss challenge.

The OPS holder can match the best offer made by any of the challengers. Otherwise, the company with the best offer wins the bid.

Dela Peña said a failure in negotiations between the OPS holder and the city signals the end of the process.

Meanwhile, the city official said, even the consortium of market cooperatives can still participate in the Swiss challenge provided it will be able to complete requirements under the city’s P4 ordinance.

The market development is long overdue, Dela Peña said.

While it is the city’s supposed show window, it is way behind other markets in urban centers and first-class towns in different parts of the country, he said.

p: wjg

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