When Mandaluyong's public market was burned down in August 1990, the city government’s initial reaction was to rebuild it by taking out a P50 million loan. But no bank would lend the city at lower than an interest rate of 18 percent or P9 million per year, which the city could not afford. Based on the principle that no basic service should be denied by reason of lack of LGU funds, the city found another means: the Build, Operate, and Transfer Law, which was given further impetus in 1991 by the Local Government Code.
Mandaluyong's government bidded out the construction of the new market/commercial complex three times, and Macro Founders and Developers (MFD), a business consortium which was organized purposely for this project, won the bid. MFD is now putting the final touches on a seven-story building on the old market site, complete with parking, movie theaters, bowling alleys, and many shops and offices. The ground floor is for the market, which will be wholly operated by the city government. The construction cost: P550 million, without a single centavo coming from the city government. In return, MFD owns the facility for 40 years to recoup its investment before transferring title to the government.
By December 1994, the complex will provide jobs for Mandaluyong residents (500 market stallholders, most of whom were fire victims in the old market, plus 82 people 10 maintain the market), and has already stimulated construction and increased economic activity in the surrounding neighborhood. It will also provide an estimated P30 million income for the city from amusement taxes and municipal license fees. This first-ever BOT project of its size in the Philippines has already attracted attention from other city governments and even from international organizations who wish to replicate this initiative in public-private partnership.
This program is recognized as one of the Ten Outstanding Programs in the 1994 Galing Pook Awards.