‘Freedom Park’ reopens amid stormy weather

THE 2,000-square-meter Freedom Park in downtown Cebu City that had been closed off for months due to ongoing renovations at the Carbon Public Market has finally reopened, showing a beautiful landscape that was once hidden behind rows of stalls.

The restored park reopened on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, the 68th birthday of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.

The scheduled reopening of Freedom Park pushed through despite the bad weather brought by Tropical Storm Paeng (Nalgae) which placed Cebu City and other parts of Cebu under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal 1.

Aside from Rama, officials of the Cebu City Government, Megawide Construction Corp. (MCC) and Cebu2World Development Inc. (C2W), MCC’s subsidiary, also graced the event.

Restored park

The restoration of Freedom Park is part of MCC and C2W’s redevelopment of the century-old Carbon Public Market under a 50-year joint venture with the Cebu City Government.

Lydwena Eco, C2W program director, said they plan to install lamp posts to help illuminate the park at night.

Trash bins will also be placed at the park to keep it clean, she added.

A three-story market building will soon rise near the park to serve as the permanent business area for vendors previously assigned at Warwick Barracks who were transferred to the Carbon Market Interim Building at Unit 2 when the redevelopment of Freedom Park began.

Eco requested those who plan to visit the park to take care of it saying the public has a stake in the park.

Eco added they will close the park at 8 or 9 p.m. daily to make way for additional developments.

Freedom Park, which was previously a marketplace area situated across the University of San Jose-Recoletos, was cleared in July to make way for its restoration.

Before the clearing operations at Freedom Park began, vendors who had been doing business there for decades were relocated to the Carbon Public Market’s Unit 2 building in Barangay Ermita.

In September 2022, Rama, city officials and MCC executives led the ceremonial groundbreaking of the park project.

Aside from Rama and Eco, also present during the opening of Freedom Park were Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia, City Councilors Joel Garganera and Francis Esparis, and C2W president and chairman Louie Ferrer.

CCMC

Meanwhile, city officials led by Rama also inaugurated the third floor of the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) on Friday.

Anton Oliver Reposar II, CCMC medical director, said they plan to put seven operating rooms for major surgeries and another operating room for minor surgery at the newly inaugurated floor.

Reposar said at least one operating room for major surgery and the operating room for minor surgery can now be used while they are still refurbishing the other operating rooms.

The hospital’s delivery room complex is still being completed by M.E. Sicat Construction, the city’s official contractor for CCMC, Reposar said. (PAC / JKV)