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DBP offers Baguio P10B for projects

BAGUIO CITY: The Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) has offered the local government a P10-billion credit facility to bankroll the modernization of the Baguio City public market and other high-impact development projects that are seen as achieving the city administration’s goal of creating a better Baguio in the next three years.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong said he was able to personally talk to DBP Chairman Alberto Romùlo several weeks ago, reporting that the latter committed the bank’s resources to help the local government unit (LGU) attain the city’s 15-point collective agenda.

The LGU is studying its options on whether to bid out the consultancy for the market development project or work on a design-and-build concept that will translate to the realization of the multi-billion development projects.

Earlier, it approved a proposed master development plan for the Baguio city public market that will make it one of the best in Southeast Asia.

Magalong said Baguio City could embrace the proposed public-private partnership or avail of the DBP loan for the realization of the market modernization .

Initially, the local government will be demolishing the old Magsaysay Building early next year and convert it to a temporary open parking area while awaiting implementation of the modernization project.

The local government was supposed to develop the public market in 1996 through the enactment of Ordinance 038, Series of 1995, that prescribed guidelines for the project.

The modernization project, however, was stalled after concerned groups of market vendors questioned the constitutionality of the ordinance and the validity of the market development contract that caused the case to be dragged up to the Supreme Court.

The high tribunal declared the ordinance as constitutional and the award of the contract to Uniwide Sales and Realty Development Corp. as valid several years ago.

Baguio City already notified Uniwide that the market development contract that it entered into over two decades ago was already deemed terminated with the company’s dissolution and that it no longer intends to deal with the latter regarding the project.

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