MEGAWIDE Construction Corp. on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, signed a joint venture agreement with the Cebu City Government for the phased redevelopment of the Carbon Public Market.
Megawide, parent firm of Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) concessionalre GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp., said in a disclosure that it will invest P5.5 billion in the project. Civil works will start in March 2021.
“Our target (groundbreaking) date is in March and tuloy-tuloy na (we will continue with the civil works),” Megawide chief corporate affairs and branding officer Manuel Louie Ferrer said.
The City Government, on the other hand, granted Megawide exclusive use and possession of the project site.
Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella and Ferrer signed the agreement on Monday.
The contract, which has a term of 50 years that may be extended for 25 years, involves the construction, development, and operation of mixed-use assets at the Carbon Market.
The project, touted by Megawide as a possible catalyst for Cebu City’s economic recovery from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, has sparked concerns among members of the Cebu Market Vendors Multipurpose Cooperative (Cemvedco).
Ferrer said the affected vendors will be temporarily transferred to other portions of the market during the civil works.
“As (a) construction company, we have experience in undertaking civil works even if this (facility) is already operational,” said Ferrer.
Erwin Gok-ong, Cemvedco chairman, said they support the redevelopment project, but were worried that they would be displaced during the civil works.
He said Megawide has not presented to them a concrete plan on how they will go about the redevelopment. Company executives merely said Cemvedco will be part of the committee that will be created to address their concerns.
“Assurances from Megawide to us (in) the last 12 months until the dinner with them last night at Abuhan restaurant were all verbal,” said Gok-ong.
Labella, for his part, said the City Government will take care of the vendors, including the ambulant ones.
“I have constantly assured our market vendors, stall owners and ambulant vendors that they will not be displaced. The City will always care for our vendors as they are the lifeblood of Carbon Market,” said Labella.
Ferrer said construction will start near the Compania Maritima Building and proceed towards the interior parts of the market.
The night market, which will be near the Maritima, will be the first to be developed. It is targeted to be opened in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The Señor Sto. Niño Park will be developed next. Target completion is in January 2022.
In October 2020, Megawide announced that the first phase of the project will involve the construction of the new public market and the transport terminal.
The project site will be divided into six blocks.
Block 1 and 2 will house the new market, which will feature entrances designed in the shape of a puso (hanging rice).
Block 3 will be the wholesalers’ hub while Block 4 will be the lifestyle village. Block 5 will house pop-up stores of online businesses.
Block 6 will be for 24/7 food stores, hotel-like accommodation facilities for tourists, and a park and chapel with a giant image of the Sto. Niño facing the sea.
Other features of the project are a water taxi terminal for fast ferries that will reduce travel time between Cebu City and MCIA, an in-city check-in facility that will allow travelers to check in their luggage and go around Carbon before connecting to the airport, and a floating restaurant. (JJL)