By Eldie S. Aguirre
Digos City Bureau Chief
DIGOS City — More than a hundred occupants of the old mezzanine building within the public market have been moving out to pave the way for the construction of a new structure.
Mayor Joseph Peñas said the city has issued a notice to proceed to the winning bidder of the P170-million project set for completion within a span of ten months to one year.
“I am sure the contractor will (fast-track) the completion of the new structure since the condition he entered into (with) the government is a 100% turn-key which means he will not receive payment until such time the project is fully completed. When it is through, the bank holding the funds will release the budget of the project,” Peñas said.
The mayor said the city used the 100% turn-key scheme for the first time to avoid cash-strapped and erring contractors to take advantage of a huge government project.
“As we noticed in some government projects, contractors will just work a portion of a stipulated project, bill the LGU and leave their work giving disadvantage to the people who paid their taxes. It’s people’s money, so we have to protect it at all cost,” he said.
Some of the old occupants from the old building sought temporary site at nearby private buildings, while others manage to sneak into vacant stalls of the adjacent central market and at the second floor of the mega market.
Toto Gonzales, a hardware owner expressed hope that the contractor will speed up the construction of the new building. “We will also suffer setbacks if the project will be delayed as scheduled.”
Mary Ronquillo, a bakery owner is now doing business along Lapu-lapu Street fronting the city council building.
The funds for the construction of the new two-storey market building is part of the P400-million loan acquired from the Development Bank of the Philippines.