Swiss challenge set for P4.5-B dev’t of Bacolod’s Manokan Country


BACOLOD City – The city government here is set to launch a Swiss challenge for the multi-billion development of the famous Manokan Country to promote local food tourism.

As of Tuesday, preparations are underway for the publication of a notice inviting interested companies to challenge the unsolicited proposal of property giant SM Prime Holdings, Inc. amounting to PHP4.5 billion.

Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez said the rehabilitation of the Manokan Country, a row of food stalls mainly serving charcoal-grilled chicken or chicken inasal, through public-private partnership is an innovation aimed to enhance economic governance and fiscal management.

“It’s for publication. We have already finished all the provisions of the agreement. We have a successful negotiation. It will be put in publication to see if there is a challenger,” he added.

Earlier this year, SM Prime presented to the city government a revised unsolicited proposal for the development of the Manokan Country together with the adjacent Vendors’ Plaza located at the Reclamation Area.

Benitez said a lot needs to be improved and upgraded at the Manokan Country, including the physical venue itself, the kitchens, and the restrooms.

“All the development will be geared towards making it a tourist destination. We know for a fact that Manokan Country is the pride and joy of the city and we would like to elevate it to be more viable,” he added.

Republic Act 7718, which amended RA 6957, provides that “unsolicited proposals for projects may be accepted by any government agency or local government unit on a negotiated basis.”

Under the Swiss challenge system, third parties are allowed to make better offers or challenges for a project during a designated period, and the original proponent has the right to counter or match any superior offers. (PNA)