Groundbreaking ceremony for new Carbon Public Market postponed

·2 min read

THE groundbreaking ceremony for the redevelopment of the Carbon Public Market was postponed due to some concerns raised by the vendors that still need to be addressed.

Cebu City Market Administrator Irvin Cabales said Mayor Edgardo Labella does not want to push through with the groundbreaking ceremony when some vendors are still protesting against the redevelopment project.

Cabales said the City is now working on addressing the concerns of the vendors.

He said one condition asked by the vendors that the City and the Megawide Construction Corp. are still deliberating on is the rent collection system.

The vendors want the collection to still be done by the City Government. However, based on the Joint Venture Agreement (JVA), the collection will be undertaken by Megawide.

Cebu Market Vendors Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Cemvedco) chairman Erwin Gok-ong Sr. said another condition they asked that Megawide is yet to answer is that the Warwick Barracks and Freedom Park will still be managed by the City.

In a position paper, other points the vendors raised include vendor associations inside and outside Carbon must be recognized; no vendors and laborers must be displaced; there should be no other fees the vendors would pay aside from the daily occupancy rental, entrance fee and business permit; no increase of market fees within three years since the start of the construction; the area where agriculture products will be unloaded must remain; the construction must be done by phases and affected vendors must be put in a convenient area; and include a representative of vendors and the barangay in the oversight committee.

Gok-ong said the minor conditions they asked have been addressed, while those two major conditions remain unsettled.

Cabales said the City and the Megawide are now in talks to compromise on the conditions set by the vendors.

Cabales said once these issues will be settled, the groundbreaking ceremony may push through next week.

On March 17, the supposed date of the groundbreaking ceremony, vendors held a rally outside the Cebu City Hall expressing their disagreement on the redevelopment project.

In previous reports, the Megawide assured there will be no vendors that will be displaced, and that there will be no privatization of Carbon Market.

The Megawide also said should there be an increase of fees, it will go through the Cebu City Council as it requires amendment of the City Market Code. (JJL)