Talisay mayor assures market won't be privatized-A A +A
Friday, October 12, 2012
TALISAY City Mayor Eric Saratan reiterated Thursday that the improvement of the Talisay City Public Market is a flagship project of President Benigno Aquino III under the public private partnership (PPP) program.
Saratan said the market won't be privatized and that the vendors would stay at their stalls and will continue what they presently sell.
He made the assurance amid talks and claims that the vendors would be displaced once the public market is improved under the project called Talisay City Plaza Complex Heritage Development and Restoration Project, which is aimed at boosting the tourism potential of the city.
The project is under the PPP Center for Development under the Office of the President.
Talisay City will be the model of such project, Saratan said.
The project is worth P280 million and will be undertaken phase by phase and that, once completed, Talisay could then be likened to Vigan, where heritage places are restored and taken care of.
The project, Saratan said, has undergone public consultation. The construction based on its timeline will be started in June 2013.
The development would include the Talisay City Public Plaza, the Old City Hall, the Philippine National Police office and the building previously occupied by the Talisay City fire department.
The project will complement the tourism attractions in the city like the Ruins and several others in the city.
Meanwhile, Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. said Thursday that he does not want public markets to be privatized.
"I am against privatization of public markets because private investors are inclined to make profits," Marañon said.
He stressed though that his opinion is an unsolicited advice to the government officials of Talisay City, which is not under the Provincial Government, being a highly urbanized city.
"This is just my unsolicited advice," Marañon said.
He added that most public markets are owned by the local government units and should remain with the local government units (LGUs) while the bigger malls are those that should be invested in by private firms.
He said the public markets are for the "bakero and the timawa" or the common people where they could buy daily food necessities and other commodities like salt, rice, sugar and vinegar, etc.
He said the purpose why the public markets should be managed by the LGUs is serve and not to make profit.
However, he said public markets should be run in way that it will not incur losses but will make enough income for the maintenance, as well as improvements of the said edifices.
"It should be operated by the government," Marañon said.
He added that if the local government needs money to improve the public markets, the LGUs could always resort to loans because the interest nowadays is very low at 4.75 percent per annum.
Saratan said, however, that the Heritage Park project would not cost the City Government of Talisay even a single centavo and is targeted to add more revenues to the city coffee. (TDE)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on October 12, 2012.