TANAUAN CITY, Batangas: About 50 vendors here staged a rally opposing the June opening of the new public market that imposed six months advance rental and one month deposit for a market space.
According to Benjie Murillo, the vendors’ representative, they are not happy despite the completion of the market renovation because most of the original stall occupants will no longer be accommodated in June.
He said that market stalls have been pre-reserved for Muslim traders to whom the spaces were sold at a higher price, eliminating the original occupants.
While admitting that the rally did not attract the expected number of participants, Murillo said it was planned to show the local government that they made the wrong decision because they in set aside the right of legitimate city traders to have space in the renovated public market.
Mayor Antonio Halili held a dialogue with the vendors saying that while he cannot assure everyone of a stall in the new market, two groups will be prioritized – those who were already selling their wares in the old market and city residents.
Tanauan City public information officer Gerry Laresma, said the six months advance rental and one month deposit are terms imposed by the new contractor, Guru Property Management and Development Corp.
“Guru, our partner in this Public-Private-Partnership [PPP] initiative, will operate the new market that will open in June or July. The terms for the concessionaire were not in the contract but the mayor assured the vendors that he will negotiate on their behalf,” he said.
The Tanauan City Public Market Redevelopment Project is the local government’s first PPP initiative with a Design-Build-Transfer-Operate Agreement entered into by the city in May 2016. The local government entered into the arrangement to provide for its constituents a more modern, safe and convenient public market. |
Under the agreement, Guru is given a 25-year concession period which may be renewed for another 25 years, subject to the parties’ mutual agreement. During that period, Guru is unconditionally granted the absolute right to operate the public market, giving it the prerogative to impose fees, rentals and charges provided they pay Tanauan City a monthly concession fee of P800,000 with escalation rate of 2.5 percent applicable at the start of the seventh year of operation and every 3rd year thereafter.