Cebu City to limit ‘binignit crowd’ in Carbon during Holy Week

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BINIGNIT—a dessert soup made of glutinous rice, assorted tubers, sago and jackfruit strips—was tagged as the culprit behind the gathering of a large crowd at Carbon Public Market in Cebu City on Maundy Thursday, April 9, 2020.

The mass gathering was a recipe for a public health horror story as the city was still in the early stage of a dreadful pandemic at the time. The social distancing protocol set by the government to slow down the spread of Covid-19 was neglected by the city residents who flocked to the Carbon market to buy binignit’s ingredients, then city market administrator Jonil Matuguina said.

As Cebu City is still in the cauldron of an ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Cebu City Government, the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) and other City Hall offices have cooked up a scheme to prevent sweet-toothed residents from crowding Carbon, the city’s largest public market where most goods are sold at a cheaper price, during the Holy Week.


Officials agreed during a meeting with Mayor Edgardo Labella on Tuesday, March 9, 2021, that they will come up with a market day schedule for the barangays.

CCPO Director Josefino Ligan said in an interview on Wednesday, March 10, that they decided to cluster barangays and assign dates for their residents’ visits to Carbon Public Market.

The date for the first set of barangays is Wednesday, March 31. The other sets of barangays will be scheduled for Maundy Thursday, April 1; Good Friday, April 2; and Black Saturday, April 3.

The residents of barangays scheduled for March 31 are the only persons allowed to buy binignit ingredients and other goods at the market. They must bring an identification card or a cedula for proof of residence.

Ligan said the City will put up a tent outside the Carbon market to shade the buyers from heat or rain as the number of people who can go inside is limited.

The CCPO will deploy additional police officers to the market. Members of civilian group Task Force Kasaligan and City Hall’s teams from Probe (Prevention Restoration Order Beautification Enhancement) and the City Environment Sanitation Enhancement will apprehend protocol violators.

Ligan said they will change the one-entrance, one-exit policy to avoid a crowd at the market’s passageway.

The City has yet to release the market day schedules of barangays. Cebu City has a total of 80 barangays, a number of which are in the uplands. It was not yet clear if the City will come up with a schedule for all the barangays. (AYB, BBT / KAL)