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Friday, April 19, 2024

There Is No Money Involved On The Market Development, Magalong Says

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Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong vehemently denied the allegations that money exchanged hands to make SM Prime Holdings Inc. the Original Proponent Status holder for the city’s market development project.

In his statement published in the city’s Public Information Facebook page, Magalong reiterated that the decision to grant SM the OPS was done in the name of fairness and in compliance with the P4 Ordinance which mandates that proposals be evaluated objectively and based on merit.

“SM’s offer was substantial, Robinsons’ was lacking. A righteous government would never settle for an inferior offer.” He added.

“My track record would speak for itself. Kung Mamasapano nga, hindi tayo nagpa-impluwensa, yang palengke pa. Kung sa Ninja Cops, di tayo nagpatinag, yan pa. Dito sa Baguio, we exercise genuine, truthful and authentic good governance. Bawal SOP at bawal under the table transactions dito.” Magalong said.

The Mayor also reiterated that the grant of OPS does not mean that it is a done deal for SM and It is just the start and not the end of the process.

“It simply paves the way for direct negotiations between the City and SM to get the project elevated to the next stage. There will be negotiations, drafting of the terms of reference, and the process called Swiss challenge where Robinsons and any other interested parties including the market vendors’ groups can participate to challenge SM if and when its negotiations with the city succeeds.” He said

He said that he will stand pat on the decision that the PPP policy guidelines of the P4 ordinance that green-lighted the market re-development project is the better option to take since it will be at no cost to the city and that the public market will also remain a city property since it will be merely put on lease.

“For many years, residents have been clamoring for a better public market in these modern times. The time has come to restore order in the area, especially in the illegal but tolerated sub-lease arrangements for stalls that are common knowledge. Corruption has become commonplace in the market for far too long.” He added.

He promised to pursue the market project beyond politics and without a wisp of corruption.

“I promised you a righteous government and I am going to deliver that at the end of my term.” The Mayor reiterated. (OIC Joe Manzano, RPN DZBS Baguio)

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