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Bacolod considering Manokan Country development

BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO

The proposal of SM Prime Holdings, Inc. to develop the Manokan Country at the Reclamation Area in Bacolod City through a public-private-partnership is one of the proposals being considered by the Bacolod City Government.

Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Benitez yesterday said they are considering the proposal of SM if it will agree to the conditions of the city.

Benitez said the Manokan Country should have its place in Bacolod because it is a tourist attraction. They will make sure that it will be preserved and that they will only consider the proposal for a PPP as long as the private entity reconcile both the desire of the city to preserve that culture and work to upgrade its facilities.

It can be recalled that during the administration of former Mayor Monico Puentevella in 2017, SM offered to purchase 1.3-hectare property in Barangay 12 just across SM City-Bacolod where the Manokan Country is located for P20,500 per square meter. However, the plan did not materialize because the city government had several legal issues to settle before it could sell the property, aside from the opposition to the proposal from the residents of Barangay 12 and Manokan Country stall owners.

Meanwhile, Benitez conducted a meeting with the stall owners of the three major public markets, including the Manokan Country on August 6 to update them of their delinquencies in terms of monthly rentals to the city.

Based on records of the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO), as of June 20, the city’s collectibles from the Burgos Public Market are about P11.2 million; Libertad Public Market – P9.6 million; and P4.6 million in Central Market. Manokan Country arrears amount to P8.6 million, the same records showed.

Councilor Celia Matea Flor, chair of the Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Markets and Slaughterhouse, met with the stall tenants at the Manokan Country Monday regarding the status of their stalls, especially concerning cleanliness and compliance to regulations, among others.*

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