Carbon Interim Market, Senior Citizens Park chapel now open
CEBU CITY, Philippines — After a year of construction, the new Interim Market of the Carbon Complex in Cebu City is now ready to accommodate vendors.
The three-story facility is nearly complete with only the top story left to be finished. Vendors from the Freedom Park and Warwick Barracks can occupy the first two floors.
Megawide Construction Corp., the developer that has undertaken the modernization of the Carbon Market through a Joint-Venture Agreement with the city government, aims to complete the transfer of the vendors to the interim market by the second week of February.
Divided into sections for fruits and vegetables, general merchandise, furniture, and karenderyas, the interim market is expected to house 744 stalls.
Vendors registered under the Market Authority and who have previously received stall certificates will get a spot in the interim market.
Mayor Michael Rama inspected the market during its blessing on January 28, 2022, and said that the completion of the interim market marks the beginning of the future.
The interim facility will house the vendors while the modern Carbon Market is being constructed for two years in the Warwick Barracks and portions of the Freedom Park area.
Rama said that once construction starts for the new Carbon Market, this will jumpstart the realization of the city’s dream for a modern Carbon.
Louie Ferrer, the vice-chairman of Megawide Construction Corp., said that once all vendors are transferred to the interim market, they will immediately start the construction of the new Carbon Market.
“Actually sugod lang ni gyod. Interim lang ni. Kini ang project nga klaro nga para sa tanang tawo labi na mga Cebuanos, ang tinood nga tag-iya sa Carbon Market,” said Ferrer.
One of the challenges that Megawide faced with the ongoing projects is some vendor groups that continue to oppose the project.
On January 24 to 26, 2022, some vendors from Warwick Barracks and Freedom Park held a strike for three days to oppose their transfer to the interim market.
Such resistance may mean a delay in the overall Carbon modernization project, Ferrer said. He added that Megawide and the city government continue to hold dialogues with the stakeholders.
The opposing vendors have also sought a congressional inquiry over the Carbon Market JVA, which Ferrer said they are more than willing to face since they have nothing to hide about the project.
“Definitely (madelay) kay siempre gusto ta nga plastada ba, walay gubot ba. Kung pwede masturyaan namo sila na this is a better area, hayag kaayo, comportable. Ngano di man sila mobalhin? Didto sa pikas, kung muulan, ila pa irepair,” said Ferrer.
Mayor Rama said that the project is pushing through despite opposition from some groups.
In previous statements, he believed the issue has become “politicized” and the vendors were being used as a weapon against the city administration.
“The direction is very clear for me from the Chapel of Sto. Niño, the police outpost, the bagsakan, the interim market. There is a contract approved by the Council and Megawide is willing to discuss things with me so I am looking at this issue overall,” said Rama.
The mayor said he will not order the forced transfer of vendors, but the city government will exhaust all efforts to convince them of the advantages of the modernization project.
“I don’t think about how because there is a thing called government prerogative and contract obligation. We must always look at this purview of all these ramifications,” said Rama.
Señor Citizens Park Chapel
Meanwhile, the city government and Megawide also opened the Senior Citizens Park Chapel across City Hall.
The structure features a giant Sr. Sto. Niñor facing the Mactan Channel, which is Cebu City’s tribute to the Child Jesus.
Rama said that they changed the name of the chapel because it may be confusing to the public since the chapel is very close to the Basilica Minore Del Sto. Niño, where the Holy Image resides.
The change of name also reflects the historical purpose of the place since it is a park dedicated to senior citizens in the first place.
The park is yet to be completed but the public can already access the chapel for viewing anytime. /rcg
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