Carbon modernization underway as clearing operation starts
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The construction of a modernized Carbon Public Market is now underway.
Authorities from the Cebu City Government have started clearing portions of Lavo Seaside on Sunday, September 12, with 20 vendors already relocated.
But not everyone welcomed this development as several vendors staged a brief protest on Monday, September 13, to continue their calls to junk the billion-peso project.
Ann Marie Ariosa, head of Carbonhanong Alyansa, said vendors in Lavo Seaside were not notified ahead of the clearing operations and demolition last Sunday.
“Gahapon sa buntag wa mi saktong kahimutang. Kinsay nag expect naay demolition sa Domingo?” said Ariosa.
(On Sunday, we were unable to sell. Who would expect that demolition will be implemented on a Sunday?)
But Ariosa’s claims were countered by the City’s Market Operations Division (MOD) who, in a separate interview, said affected vendors were already advised about Sunday’s demolitions two months ago.
“Actually, two months ago, nagpatawag na ta ug meeting sa mga opisyales ug mga vendor groups ug kato gyung mga affected,” said Irvin Cabales, MOD chief.
(Actually, two months ago, we already called for a meeting with officials of the vendors groups specially those who will be affected [by the demolition].)
At least 20 vendors stationed in Lavo Seaside of Carbon were affected by Sunday’s clearing operations, said Cabales.
The MOD executive, however, assured the public that the sellers’ livelihood will not be severed as Phase 1 of the modernization project commences.
He added that they have provided tents for the vendors while their temporary relocation site is being constructed. It is expected to be completed within a week or two.
“Domingo gihimo ang clearing operations nato kay di kaayo busy atong mga vendors and naa pud silay saktong time para makaplastar,” Cabales explained.
(The demolition was scheduled on a Sunday because they are not very busy on this day and so that they will still have enough time to prepare.)
“Ang vendors naman gani mismo nivolunteer sa demolition kay ang materyales sa ilahang tindahan, ilahang gasto unya di sila ganahan masayang,” he added.
(There were vendors who volunteered to demolish their stalls to salvage materials that they could still use and prevent these from being wasted.)
Zosimo Potot, chairperson of the Lavo Seaside Vendors Association, and one of the vendors affected by the recent demolition, said they support the modernization project as long as the proponents will deliver the promises made.
“Kay ako, andam ko makibisog kung di tumanon sa City ug sa market administrator ang ilahang pasalig nga makabalik mi,” said Potot.
(I am prepared to join protest actions if the City and the market administrator will not honor the promises they made.)
The city government entered into an agreement with construction firm Megawide to redevelop and modernize Carbon Public Market.
Phase 1 of the project costs around P5.5-billion.
However, several vendors find the project disadvantageous to them and have since urged the city government to terminate its contract with Megawide. They also lodged formal cases before the courts, asking the judiciary to intervene.
Carbon is the city’s largest public market, with over 5,000 vendors.
CDN Digital is reaching out to Megawide Construction Corp. for their comments as of this writing.
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