The construction of the city government’s P190 million public market has been facing delays due to a dispute over a portion of the site which is being claimed by a private individual.
The city engineering office told the City Council their private contractor, Square Meter Trading and Construction Corp. (SMTCC), had to adjust the location of the building’s foundation because of the dispute.
The project was originally targeted for completion by December 2019.
“About 4,000 square meters of the property belong to that private party so we adjusted the original layout which affected the positioning of the foundation. We have to move about 9 meters towards the bodega of San Miguel Corporation,” City engineer Alberto P. Jimenez told the Council during Monday’s Question Hour.
Upon questioning however by Councilor Herbert S. Dilig, Jimenez admitted they have verified the ownership of the claimed area and noted that it is a “reclaimed area”.
“We’re not giving up our claim over the land. We adjusted just to avoid the issue of ownership,” Jimenez said.
Councilors Matthew Mendoza, Herbert Dilig, Patrick Hagedorn, Nesario Awat, and Henry Gadiano took turns questioning the decision-making process of the CEO citing how it affected the project. The council’s Question Hour concluded by giving an extension to SMTCC and CEO.
Jimenez vowed they will be able to comply on the new deadline set on March 2020.
“Tiwala naman kami na kayang tapusin ng contractor [yung building] sa bagong extension na binigay,” Jimenez said.