Negotiation period on market development terms extended

The city’s Public Private Partnership for the People – Screening Committee (P4-SC) extended the ongoing negotiations between the local government and SM Prime Holdings on the final terms of reference for the long overdue development of the public market to ensure that both parties will be able to agree on the finals terms for the said project.            

City Administrator Bonifacio dela Pen֮a disclosed that the earlier 45-day negotiation period between the parties to finalize the terms of reference for the multi-billion market development project expired last month, thus, the P4-SC decided to extend the same for an initial 60 days which could be extended up to 90 days depending on the pace of the process.

He claimed that of the 34 terms of reference that are the subject of the negotiation, 16 terms are related to technical matters while the 18 terms concern the financial aspect of the project.

However, the city administrator admitted that they did not yet reach halfway in the negotiation process of the technical terms that is why the ongoing process might take more time to be completed so that the P4-SC could move on to the next step in the 19-step process for the selection of the local government’s private partner in the implementation of the desired development of the city public market.

He pointed out that there must be agreement that will be reached on the 16 technical terms before the parties will proceed in disposing of the financial terms of the project during the negotiation period. That is why both parties are seriously working on their respective positions on each of the 34 terms that are the subject of negotiation.

According to him, one of the important issues being tackled by the P4-SC is the earlier letter of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Center that raised some issues and concerns on the ward of the Original Proponent Status (OPS) to SM Prime Holdings instead of awarding the same to another proponent for the said project.               

Further, dela Pen֮a revealed that 4 city councilors who are members of the P4-SC also decided to inhibit themselves for various reasons that seem to be acceptable to the remaining members that is why all the members are mandated to attend every meeting with their counterparts to ensure the presence of the required quorum with due respect to the negotiation team of the proponent.           

He emphasized that the P4-SC is not considering possible replacements of the city councilors who decided to inhibit themselves from the ongoing negotiation process because it is clear in the implementing rules and regulations of the P4 ordinance that it is the chairpersons of the council’s standing committees that are authorized to represent the local legislative body in the said committee.           

He assured that the members of the local government’s negotiation team will continue to fight for the interest of the people in the ongoing negotiation process to achieve the overall objective of the city in having a modern market that will be at part with similar markets in other urban centers around the country since the city public market has been left out in terms of development over the past two decades. – Dexter A. See