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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Bacolod: Manokan Country development plans bared

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Bacolod City – Councilor Jason Isidro Villarosa said he supports the development of the iconic Manokan Country in order to provide foreign and local tourists, as well as its tenants a better location.

Villarosa, chairman of the Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Tourism, said the tenants were assured that while the new Manokan Country is being constructed, no rental fees will be collected for a period of 18 months.

The Sangguniang Panlungsod recently approved the committee report on the proposed lease agreement between the Bacolod City Government and SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SMPHI), represented by its president Jeffrey C. Lim, where the Manokan Country, Vendors Plaza, and Bacolod Youth and Sports (BAYS) Center, and nearby properties, among others, with an aggregate area of 16,875 square meters, are located at Fr. Ferrero Street, Bacolod City.

During a public hearing, SMPHI vice president for Asset Management, said they plan to relocate the Manokan Country to a temporary area just across its present location by the first quarter of 2024, or March next year.

The temporary Manokan Country will be across its present site, which is in the parking terminal area of SM City. The tenants will be allocated about 24 stalls with an area of 12 square meters per stall.

SMPHI presented their preliminary designs for the proposed development of the Manokan Country and Vendors Plaza, where it will provide tenants 25 slots with an average of 50 to 60 square meters per area. Outside the allocated slots will be a common dining area for customers.

SMPHI is looking at a two-level, open area redevelopment. There will also be potential BPO offices and BPO towers that can generate more than 10,000 in employment.

The target date of completion is by June 2025.

Executives of SMPHI reiterated that their designs are preliminary and they are still making modifications.

Councilor Al Victor Espino, chair of SP Committee on Laws, pointed out that the purpose for calling a public hearing is in relation to the consummation of the public-private partnership of the city and SMPHI, together with the Manokan Country tenants.

Also present at the public hearing led by Espino were the representatives of SMPHI, the Manokan Country tenants, and Councilors Simplicia Distrito, Israel Salanga, Celia Matea Flor, Vladimir Gonzalez, and Jude Thaddeus Sayson. (Chrysee Semillano via The Visayan Daily Star (TVDS), photo courtesy of TVDS)

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