300 Bato families to be relocated

Jerra Mae Librea
·2 min read

AROUND 300 families living in Sitio Bato, Barangay Ermita, Cebu City will be relocated to a medium-rise building (MRB) to give way for the redevelopment of Carbon Public Market into a first world market complex.

Lawyer Jade Ponce, head of Cebu City’s Land Management Council (LMC), said consultations for the project will officially begin in mid-April.

However, during an initial meeting with Ermita Barangay Captain Mark Miral and some residents, there appeared to have been no opposition to the project.

“So far, they liked the idea,” said Ponce.

He said the Council plans to have the residential building stand at 10 to 12 storeys high.

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The Cebu City Government will also negotiate with Visayan Electric for the acquisition of a portion of a lot owned by Visayan Electric in the area for the building’s construction, Ponce said.

He assured that no resident of Sitio Bato will be displaced as the LMC will follow the “build-move-clear” rule.

Under the rule, residents will not be asked to leave their homes until a building to be used as relocation has first been constructed.

Once the residents have moved to their new homes, clearing operations in the area where they once lived will then commence.

Construction giant Megawide Construction Corp. will undertake the redevelopment of Carbon Market under a Public-Private Partnership with Cebu City.

The groundbreaking for the redevelopment of Carbon took off on March 24, 2021 after it was postponed twice.

During the groundbreaking, Vice Mayor Michael Rama did not attend the ceremony or send a representative.

On the same day, Rama delivered a privilege speech during the City Council’s regular session questioning the need to hasten the groundbreaking activity when there were still several matters that needed to be ironed out first.

Rama also aired concern over the historical significance of Carbon.

In an emergency meeting of the Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission (Chac) called for by Rama last March 16, Chac decided to request Megawide to submit its development plan to determine if its plans conform with the standards set by the Commission.

“Unsa kaha gyud ang kahulogan sa ‘groundbreaking’ nga kinahanglan man gyud dalion?” said Rama during the online session.

“I do not wish to stop this project. I have been most aggressive in terms of progressive projects, but I am also very staunch in doing things right,” said Rama.

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, for his part, said even if the groundbreaking ceremony already took place, negotiations will continue.

Labella said both the City and Megawide are open to more suggestions from other officials and stakeholders as the development progresses.