Osmeña: night market will come, but not too soon
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Councilor Renato Osmeña Jr., head of the City Council’s committee on market, has said that the city government will not compromise the health of the public and the vendors for a “rushed” night market.
The councilor said this amid the backlash for pushing the night market, which could be a potential crowd gathering place, even though the city was still suffering through a pandemic.
Osmeña clarified that they had been continuously in talks with vendor groups to formulate the best plans for the night market, but it did not mean that the night market would come back anytime within the next few months.
These proposals will still be up for the approval of Mayor Edgardo Labella, who remains to have the final say on the return of the night market.
“The health of the vendors and the public is our utmost priority. Kasabot man ta nga naglisod ang mga vendors, pero mas lisod if mangasakit sila. (We understand that our vendors are suffering, but it will be more difficult if they get sick),” said Osmeña.
The city government will only allow the night market to return once the pandemic is over or when the new normal has been established so that everyone can enjoy it to the fullest.
Quarantine restrictions have been difficult for markets in general even the Carbon Market, the largest public market in Cebu, and other smaller markets around the city.
The establishment of the health protocols and the control of community transmission in these areas remains to be a challenge for the city’s Emergency Operations Center with public markets comprising eight percent of the transmission sources for the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.
“People need to survive, but we won’t add up something to gather a crowd and make it a nightmare sa atong mga (for our) frontliners. That is why we are here upon the guidance of our mayor. I will not be the one to decide. I am favorable, but for now, we are not ready,” said Osmeña.
The councilor appeals to the vendors for more patience as the city government especially the Market Operations Division (MOD) is working on a win-win situation to allow the vendors to trade in a safer area with health protocols established.
As for the night market, this project might not see the light of day soon as long as there would be no vaccine against the COVID-19 yet, said Osmeña.
The councilor assured the public that when things turn for the better, a night market that would be at par with the international Asian night markets would soon be in Cebu that would become a new tourist destination for the city if only Cebuanos could wait./dbs
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