Mayor allowed to sign pact with NDC for trading center

THE CITY council approved on third reading yesterday an ordinance granting Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOu) with the National Development Corp. for the setting up of the Agri Pinoy Trading Center.

The approval comes two years after the city council first asked the Department of Agriculture (DA) for the project, in 2013, through a resolution.

It also comes a year after the council authorized Duterte to sign an MOU for the preliminary agreement of both the NDC and the city government through an ordinance approved in April 8, 2014.

Last April 8, representatives from both NDC and city hall offices, among them the City Agriculturist’s Office, finalized the details of the proposed MOU.

According to a copy of the committee report, NDC representative Saturnino Mejia said the signing of the MUA would fast-track the establishment of the facility.

The item would then head to the City Legal Office.

The project, costing P70 million, was initially refused by Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte who said he did not want to receive any assistance in the form of cash to avoid being implicated in an anomaly.

However, the city mayor was assured that this was a regular fund from the DA.

Agriculture committee chair Marissa Salvador-Abella said her site visits to APTCs in Sariaya, Tayabas City, Quezon and Urdaneta City, Pangasinan showed her the advantages of the setting up of the center.

In an earlier interview, City Agriculturist Rocelio Tabay said the project would make products more affordable for wholesale buyers who would no longer need middlemen for agricultural products.

The site is located in Toril.

According to the committee report, the committee received a letter from the office of the City Administrator last March 23 containing the draft MOU.

The item was calendared into the city council’s agenda in March.

According to Tabay, the project allows the city government to use and earn from the project within 15 years.

However, the official lamented that the time included the bidding and construction of the facility, which would take around one year.

Posted in Business