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Voices vs “modern market” to be heard

Voices vs “modern market” to be heard

Mary Ruth R. Malinao (The Freeman) – October 5, 2019 – 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella assured the Carbon Public Market vendors that their stand about the proposal of a private firm to modernize the market will be heard.

This after the Cebu Market Vendors Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Cemvedco), appealed that they should be included in the consultation meetings between the city government and SM Prime Holdings Inc. because they oppose the “modern market” proposal.

Labella said that his office will announce a public hearing so that all those affected stakeholders will be given an opportunity to speak out regarding the proposal in developing the Carbon Public Market.

“I will be very objective,” said Labella.

Labella said that SM Prime Holdings Inc. has yet to submit its proposal to the city government, but he was already given an idea that the model for the project is the SM Marketmall in Dasmariñas, Cavite.

Meanwhile, Cemvedco officials visited SM Marketmall and met with its management last Wednesday.

During their visit, they said they found out that vendors are not in a good situation as they were put in an area where they could not be immediately seen by shoppers.

Cemvedco chairman Erwin Gok-ong Sr. said that upon entering the building, the office of the manager and the offices of private establishments welcomed the shoppers. The vendors are located below that floor.

“So when you enter the building, if you’re not aware that there is a market there, you will just think that it’s only a supermarket of SM,” said Gok-ong.

Gok-ong claimed that since SM developed the public market into a supermarket, a lot of vendors chose to sell outside the establishment after their profits dropped.

He also revealed that the local government unit of Dasmariñas was forced to provide P5,000 as financial assistance to affected vendors for them to remain inside Marketmall and that the products sold in SM Supermarket are the same as the products sold by the vendors in the lower ground floor.

During the Executive-Legislative Agenda Formulation Workshop last September 25, Labella said that one thing the city government will really have to look into is whether or not SM’s proposal will be beneficial for the city.

He added that the city will not shell out money for the project because SM will shoulder all the expenses for the construction of the building and they “will only occupy the land.”

The proposed plan aims to construct a modern three-story building in the Carbon Public Market that will accommodate stalls, parking areas, a “bagsakan” or a place where goods are delivered, and commercial spaces.

It is possible that the Carbon Public Market’s units 1, 2 and 3 will be demolished once the project starts. — BRP (FREEMAN)


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