Megawide open to discuss Cebu City's supplemental MOA on Carbon Market project

·3 min read

MEGAWIDE Construction Corp. Executive Director for Infrastructure Louie Ferrer said they respect the decision of the Cebu City Government when its Council adopted a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to supplement the existing agreement for the Carbon Public Market redevelopment.

"We can adjust depending on the decision (of the Cebu City Council)," he said in a mix of English and Cebuano in an interview with Cebu media on Thursday night, Sept. 23.

"We are willing to sit down with them because we respect the process, and we respect their decision as long as it's fair," he added.

To recall, the City Council adopted a supplemental MOA introduced by Vice Mayor Michael Rama on Sept. 1, 2021, which supplements the existing Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) for the Carbon Public Market redevelopment project.

Among the additional documents required are the eligibility documents (technical and financial) of the Megawide, feasibility study, including a financial projection for the proposed project, and the complete unsolicited proposal submitted by the Megawide.

The supplemental MOA also intends to amend and enhance some portions of the JVA preliminary conditions, such as the project phasing, rights granted to the Megawide, revenue sharing, losses and risk sharing, and construction start date and conditions precedent to the construction start date.

Ferrer said they find no deficiencies in the JVA or on the part of Cebu City because, he said, they went through the right process, but if there is, they are willing to sit down with the Council and negotiate the MOA.

He, however, said he hopes that the city will look at the "total" picture, saying the Carbon redevelopment project has already started and this is not for Megawide only, nor for the vendors alone, but for the entire Cebu City.

"Sana, they look at that because sayang yung time," he said.

He said the Megawide committed to a staggering annual graduated payment of P50 million. On top of this, there is about P25 million in taxes.

He said their capital expenditures to build the infrastructure in Carbon during phase 1 is about P5.5 billion. He also said these major changes in Carbon Public Market will jumpstart the economy of the city.

"If you look at the records of Carbon, Carbon's contribution to the City yung highest was in 2019 which was about P21 million. So, how is P21 million compared to siguro, minimum nato, is P75 million diba?" he said.

He said they will continue to fight for the redevelopment despite the issues arising from the project.

He said they are scheduled to open in November, but they already opened a section for the ambulant vendors, the Carbon Bagsakan, which is the first actual development turned over by the Megawide, on Thursday, Sept. 23.

He said they are confident they can still deliver their committed schedule, though he also admitted that further issues might affect the project's timeline.

Meanwhile, Megawide and the Cebu City Government distributed certificates of recognition to about 40 ambulant vendors of Carbon Public Market on Thursday.

The signed certificates by the mayor and Megawide, Ferrer, said guarantee ambulant vendors' space allocation in the new Carbon Public Market facility.

Ferrer said the ceremonial awarding of certificates is to also clarify that not only the stall owners are being prioritized.

He said it just took the time to finalize the actual number of ambulant vendors because of the conflicting information from the local government and the ambulant vendors' group.

He said he is proud because the design of the Bagsakan Center was a collaborative effort between the Megawide and the ambulant vendors themselves.

Guillerma Ardeno, an ambulant vendor of vegetables and member of LAVO Seaside, said she supports the modernization of the old Carbon.

"Na lipay kay mi na makatinda g'yod mi diha, magpabilin kay naa mi panginabuhian diba. Mao nay gikuhaan nako panginabuhian para sa akong mga anak nga walo kabuok," she said. (WBS)

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