Kidapawan mayor defends building construction for ukay-ukay vendors

Mayor Rodolfo Gantuangco said the structure is only temporary in nature and its construction does not need an approval from the Sangguniang Panglungsod.

The ukay-ukay will only stay for two years at the area vacated by public utility vehicles at the old terminal, Gantuangco said. The city, he said, will earn more than P1.8 million a year from it.

Vans and buses have already transferred to the newly-constructed overland public terminal along Ninoy Aquino Avenue, here.

Gantuangco reacted to statements made by a city councilor who said he is criminally liable for entering into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Ukay-ukay Market Vendors Association for the building construction.

“The mayor violated the check-and-balance between the executive and the legislative.   Any public works project, whether temporary or permanent in nature, before it can be implemented must be studied first by the legislative.   But that in itself was violated by the mayor,” said councilor and lawyer Greg Yarra, also chair of the Committee on Ethics and Public Accountability of the Sangguniang Panglungsod.

The construction was completed last October.   However, the ukay-ukay stall owners have not yet used the area because of the controversies.

Gantuangco denied a MOA had been signed by the city LGU and the market vendors.

“There is yet no MOA.  That is why I’m seeking authority from the SP for the chief executive to enter into an agreement.  I wrote the SP a letter regarding that on October 15, but up to now, there is yet to response from them,” said Gantuangco.

Gantuangco said he has not violated any crime.  He explained the city government has not spent even a single cent to construct the project. 

The ukay-ukay market vendors shelled out funds to build it, he said.

Each of the 52 ukay-ukay vendors contributed at least P30T to produce some P1.2 million for the construction.   They also assured the city they would provide for the security of the building. (MindaNews)