Cebu City, Cebu – Megawide Construction Corporation (“Megawide” or the “Company”) and the City Government of Cebu (“LGU”), the joint venture partners for the redevelopment of the Carbon district, are continuing efforts to consult with stakeholders leading up to the project’s groundbreaking ceremony.
“We have been consulting with vendor leaders these past two years but now we felt it was important to bring the discussion to more of the ordinary vendors from each unit and location. All our consultations are broadcast live to the public via Facebook,” said Cristina Angan, Carbon Redevelopment Project – Head of Commercial.
“The discussions were open and productive – surprisingly, most of the problems that were raised were about the current facilities and how they can be improved. There was very little reaction regarding the rates, especially when we clarified they will remain the same for the next three years,” she said.
“Barato ang presyo”: current market rates will be retained
During its vendor roadshow last March 2-4, 2021, held in partnership with the Cebu City Market Operations Division (“MOD”), participants were asked about the positive aspects of the public market. Overwhelmingly, vendors mentioned the low prices of rental and retail; they also brought up the wide selection of products and being able to sell at any time of day, among others.
The market rates will also remain the same for the next three years. “Vendors and regular stall holders should not worry about rates because they will be based on the Market Code, approved by the Council and more importantly, upon consultation of Vendor Leaders. As to ambulant vendors, the current “arkabala” system will still be followed,” Angan assured. Rental rates are currently fixed at P8.50 per square meter per day – among the lowest rates in the entire country.
“These are valuable inputs that we are receiving from our vendors and including in the project plan. We are very open to discussions and we are committed to collaborating with all sectors to ensure the inclusive success of this project,” she emphasized.
In response to concerns regarding privatization of the public market. Angan reiterated that the project is a public-private partnership and so the development – including the public market – will remain the property of the people of Cebu. As private sector partner, Megawide will invest P5.5 billion for phase one and make a yearly guaranteed payment to the local government.
No displacement and proper market facilities
The MOD and Megawide clarified that vendors in the areas of Warwick Barracks and Freedom Park will be the first ones to transfer to a temporary facility in the 4th quarter of this year. Once vendors from both areas are transferred, construction for the permanent public market facility will begin, and will be completed in two years.
Planned as a multi-level building, the permanent facility will host all current vendors of the public market. “We have accounted for the number of vendors based on the official list of the Market Operations Division, including ambulant vendors. They will all have space in the upgraded facility – no vendors will be displaced. The building is also designed to maximize foot traffic in all areas to evenly drive customer traffic in all locations,” said Angan.
The building will also bring comfort, efficiency and promote public health and safety, particularly during this COVID-19 pandemic. It will have provisions for proper loading and unloading of goods, proper storage areas, water and power, among others. A dedicated sewage treatment plant and proper drainage systems will also be built, which will address flooding and sanitation concerns especially during the rainy season – problems that have long affected the business of many vendors. Ample security and CCTV systems will also help resolve current issues of security in Carbon such as snatching and drug-related incidents.
Opportunity to Operate Facilities
Aside from representation in the project, vendors’ organizations will be given a fair chance to help operate facilities in the modern public market subject to certain key performance indicators.
Megawide, which operates the internationally-awarded Mactan-Cebu International Airport under a public-private partnership with the national government, affirms that the redevelopment of Carbon is envisioned to enhance the value of the district through equitable stakeholder participation by attracting more customers and celebrating Cebuano entrepreneurship and heritage.
Apart from the public market, Phase 1 includes the development of the Puso 24/7 Village, land transportation hub, Sto. Niño chapel, and public market. The first phase of development will take 4-5 years. Groundbreaking is scheduled on Tuesday, March 23, 2021.