BAGUIO CITY – Some 15 companies will challenge the company granted Original Proponent Status (OPS) in the multi-billion Baguio City Public Market development.
City Administrator Bonifacio Dela Peña, who heads the city’s Public-Private Partnership for the People (P4) Screening Committee, said the companies expressed eagerness to participate in the “Swiss Challenge.”
Dela Peña explained that a Swiss Challenge is a method of bidding where an interested party initiates a proposal for a project. After naming the OPS, the government then publishes details of the proposal and invites others to bid for the right to execute it.
Upon receipt of bids, the contractor with the OPS gets an opportunity to match the best bid to land the project.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong expressed reservations over the result of the P4 voting process after Robinson’s Land Corporation (RLC) landed the OPS.
Magalong said he wants his administration to remain transparent and ordered the publication of whatever actions the P4 Committee made, including how votes went in favor or against the holder of the OPS.
“ We need to check this very carefully without favoritism and corruption, because this project is not only the development of the market, the very important factor here is the welfare of the vendors and the community,” he added.
Dela Peña said that if the city mayor will go by present screening outcome, negotiations between the city government and RLC will proceed with finalization of the Terms of Reference (TOR) detailing the project, all within 45-days. Once the city publishes the TOR, the Swiss Challenge ensues.
If the Mayor disapproves, the market development project under current terms will be in limbo.
Dela Peña said the P4 Screening Committee might still look into other options under the city’s P4 ordinance which naturally will delay the realization of the project.
The modernization of the market serves as the city’s show window for the local tourism industry and is one the priority projects of the present administration.