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Lease term agreement, demolitions concern Carbon Market vendors

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - CDN Digital | November 11,2021 - 08:33 AM

Carbon Market

Scenes from the Carbon Market in Cebu City on Holy Wednesday, March 31, 2021. | CDN Digital File Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — A lease term agreement for vendors and scheduled demolitions in the Carbon Market for November 18, 28, and another in December, has drawn concerns from both stall and ambulant vendors at the Warwick Barracks area.

Some of the vendors appeared in the Cebu City Council during the regular session on Wednesday, November 10, 2021, to air out their concerns over these demolitions as they said this move discriminated many of the vendors.

Ana Marie Ariosa, one of the vendor leaders, said they were informed of the demolition, but were not allowed to enter the meeting conducted by the Market Operations Division (MOD) recently.

Ariosa said reports from their members speak of a lease agreement that will be given to vendors only if they agree to be transferred at the interim market in Unit II, currently near completion by Megawide Construction Corp., the developer of the Carbon Market modernization program.

“Karon sa among napaminawan sa balita sa interview, duna nay mahimong demolition. Sa niaging adlaw lang nagpatawag og meeting, diri sa market vendors habig sa Warwick Barrack. All market vendors daw pero pagsaka namo didto, gipanaog mi kay ang mga stall owners ra daw. Ang nadawat namo nga report nga dili releasan og contract of lease kung dili mosugot mobalhin. Unsa may pasabot ani? Ngano nahitabo man ni?” said Ariosa in the City Council.

In a copy of the lease term agreement that CDN Digital acquired, the terms only specify the policies and guidelines in the use of the market stalls. No portion of the contract signifies the tenure of the stall owner or any similar arrangement.

Relocation, not demolition

MOD Head Irvin Cabales said that Acting Mayor Michael Rama has yet to approve the lease term agreement. The acting mayor has also not approved the transfer of the vendors to the interim market yet.

“Naghuwat pa gyod ta sa desisyon ni Mayor Rama kay at the end of the day, siya man gyoy mosign tanan documents. Wala pamay approval si Mayor niining transfer nato, so if wala pay approval, wala pud tay transfer,” said Cabales in a phone interview with CDN Digital on November 11, 2021.

Cabales notes that the feared demolition of the vendors is not actually a demolition but a relocation of the vendors currently in the Warwick Barracks to the new interim market in Unit II.

The reason for such is because Megawide is set to begin the construction of the new Carbon Market in the area, which will last two years.

Cabales said that only the certificate is needed for them to transfer to the interim market and as long as they have that certificate, they are assured a stall.

The lease agreement is a yearly contract between the city government and the stall vendors, which is renewed annually to guide the vendors on how to manage their stalls.

The vendors however questioned these movement when the city government has yet to achieve the supplementary MOA with Megawide to cure deficiencies in the JVA.

Ariosa urged the City Council to stop the demolitions until the supplementary MOA has been signed.

‘Where is the MOA?’

Arising from the issue, some Cebu City councilors are now demanding Acting Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama the progress on the curative measures for the Carbon Market Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) with Megawide Construction Corp.

They reminded the acting mayor of his decisive privilege speech last September 1, 2021, asking then Mayor Edgardo Labella to draft a supplemental Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).

Now that Rama is officially a quasi-mayor of the city, Councilor Nestor Archival is asking him to stay true to his stand on revising the following points of the JVA: Project phasing, rights granted to Megawide, revenue sharing, losses and risk-sharing, construction start date, and conditions precedent to start date.

Archival, who is also the minority floor leader, said in a privileged speech that the acting mayor must take the lead so the public will know how to move forward with the Carbon Modernization project.

“That being said, the points being said by the acting mayor should be addressed first in order for the people to know what will happen moving forward. Thus the action taken should focus on the supplemental MOA and not on the demolition,” said the minority floor leader.

In response to Archival’s privileged speech, Rama appeared in the City Council, saying that he has arranged meetings with Megawide regarding the MOA.

“I will never definitely ignore the fact that I am pursuing the curative, I stand by it. I understand naay kaso, let the case is proceed. As far as the city government is concerned, I will continue to posture in that direction,” said Rama.

The mayor has met with Megawide on November 10, 2021, but has not yet revealed the results of the meeting. He will meet with them again on November 15, 2021, for the counter-proposal of Megawide.

Once the counter-proposal is submitted, the Joint Venture Selection Committee (JVSC) will be reviewing the counter proposal and will once again make a final proposal to the mayor.


READ MORE: Carbon modernization underway as clearing operation starts

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TAGS: Acting Mayor Michael Rama, Carbon Market, Irvin Cabales, Warwick Barracks

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