The Bangkerohan Public Market, the biggest in the city, will not have a major rehabilitation any time soon due to legal issues, a city official said.
“We are trying to have rehabilitation but our big problem is the proof of ownership,” Maribeth Lumactod, City Economic Enterprise Officer- in-Charge, told reporters.
According to Lumactod, they might be subject to questioning of governing national commission.
“The Commission on Audit (COA) might be asking us for a proof of ownership if we target to rehabilitate any of our infrastructures,” Lumactod said.
She said there were allegations that there have been a deed of donation but they cannot locate it.
“As of now, the land is owned by Marfori. They said it was donated but per documents, we don’t have any yet. It is not also under a usufruct contract,” she explained.
Unlike other big public markets in the city, Bankerohan can only have minor repairs without the proper documents.
“We can’t do so much, only minor repairs but not a total building repair just like in Agdao Public Market because we don’t have the proof of ownership,” she said.
Lumactod also declined to give a timeline for a possible rehabilitation but assured that they have a personnel working on it.
“We cannot determine our timeline for the rehab yet. It will depend on how fast we can acquire the proof of ownership,” she said.
“We have been trying to locate it. In fact, I hired a contract of service employee that will focus on transferring titles of the income generating properties to the local government,” she added.
Assistant City Administrator lawyer Tristan Dwight Domingo also said they are just waiting for the proper documents to prove that the city now owns the public market.
“In terms of ownership, we only await for the papers to be finalized but we all know that we that property has been donated to the city long, long before,” he said.
“We are trying to check and finalize the documentation with that but despite it, knowing that we have a public facility in the area, we know we have the responsibility to put it in a good state,” he added.
In the recent flooding inside the market, Domingo said they have interventions provided.
“We have interventions, though little, to improve the market and prevent flooding,” he said. “Despite the limitations provided by law, what we can do in the area, we will do it and we are doing it.”