DAGUPAN CITY — The city government here plans to pay at one time the Php 20 million remaining amortization to the Php 280-million loan of Dagupan City used in 2004 for the construction of the Malimgas Public Market.

Mayor Belen Fernandez said she would seek the advice of members of the city’s finance committees whether it would be more advantageous for the city to pay the remaining balance of the loan at one time instead of paying it for three more years as stipulated in the loan agreement.

The Php 280-million loan was obtained by the city during the administration of then Mayor Benjamin Lim to finance the construction of the three-storey Malimgas Market. However, after it was constructed, the market never became self-sustaining as earlier promised by then Mayor Lim.

Thus, the quarterly amortization to the loan had yet been coming from the city coffers, sacrificing some of the essential services of the city government.

But since Mayor Fernandez took over the reins of the city government, the Malimgas Public Market made a turn-around as it is now fully occupied, except its third floor which is still not being used as a car parking area.

Fernandez reported that the last two years, the income from Malimgas Market paid by stallholders was used to pay wholly for the amortization of the loan obtained by city, unlike before when the income was utterly lacking.

Fernandez was keen on settling the loan at one time in order to finally free Dagupan of any obligation soon, complaining that the loan has burdened the city a lot financially for the last 10 years.

Fernandez told newsmen that under her administration that began in 2013, the Malimgas Public Market, it was able to reverse the situation by inviting investors and imparting to them sound business practices which he used herself in early part of her life to soon become owner of a series of shopping malls.

The first floor of the public market is now fully occupied, so with its second floor, except for just about a few unoccupied stalls. However, its third floor which was designed for car parking is not yet in use as car owners are avoiding it because of its sharp ascent which drivers fear. PNA