LEASE AGREEMENT. Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas and SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SMPHI) president Jeffrey Lim (2nd and 3rd from left) are joined by Vice-Mayor Jeffrey Ganzon (left) and SM Supermall president Steven Tan (right) during the formal awarding of the 25-year lease agreement for the redevelopment of its two public markets in a ceremony held at the Park Inn by Radisson Iloilo on Tuesday (August 2, 2022). The projects stand to benefit around 2,800 market vendors at the Iloilo Central and Terminal markets. (Photo courtesy of Arnold Almacen/City Mayor’s Office)

ILOILO CITY – The Iloilo city government on Tuesday formally awarded the 25-year lease agreement for the redevelopment of its two public markets to SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SMPHI) with an initial PHP3 billion investment that stands to benefit around 2,800 market vendors.

Mayor Jerry P. Treñas, in his message, said the redevelopment of the Iloilo Central and Terminal markets is one of the areas where the local government sought help from the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Center when he entered his administration.

“To SM Prime Holdings, my utmost gratitude to you for being our partners in this PPP project that ensure to improve business activities and help alleviate poverty among our 2,800 vendors,” he said in his message given during a ceremony held at the Park Inn by Radisson Iloilo.

SMPHI president Jeffrey Lim, in his message, said they are grateful for the opportunity to work with the city in redeveloping the markets and contribute to the development goals of the city.

“By helping modernize the public markets and planning to restore the heritage building in the central market side, we will be able to preserve the identity of the development sites and showcase its grand architecture to the locals, the tourists and the rest of the Philippines,” he said.

In a press conference that followed, Treñas said they would submit the lease contract to the city council for confirmation which would pave the way for the start of the rehabilitation.

He added that consultations were conducted with the vendors and their inputs to be included during the construction.

Lim said their initial investment proposal is PHP1.5 billion for each of the two projects or a total of PHP3 billion.

“The designs are being finalized now and it will be discussed with (the) mayor and the city so we can come up with nice development that is acceptable to the city and therefore the amount can actually change. However, given what I have seen in terms of the increases in construction cost because of the inflation and higher cost of materials, that can actually go to probably PHP2 billion or even PHP2.5 billion per structure,” he added.

SM Supermall president Steven Tan said their Iloilo market projects are not their first PPP engagement in the country as they have one in Dasmariñas, Cavite which resulted in a drastic improvement in the public market business. (PNA)