Work on Carbon’s burned facility finally begins

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

AFTER more than a decade, the Cebu City Government finally started the construction of Unit II of Carbon Market.

Mayor Michael Rama and the Market Operations Division broke ground yesterday to start construction of the facility, which fire had gutted in 1998.

Tony Piloton, president of the Cebu Market Vendors’ Development Cooperative (Cemvedco), thanked the City for allocating funds to implement the project.


“Dugay sad mi naghuwat ani (We’ve waited a long time for this). Almost 14 years,” he said.

Market Administrator Racquel Arce said the construction of Unit II will be funded by the P170-million budget from the City.

Arce, however, said the amount will only be enough to build the structure of the planned two-storey building.

She has proposed an additional P190-million appropriation to be included under the P6.7-billion proposed annual budget for 2013.

“We are hoping that it will be approved so this can be completed as soon as possible,” she said.

The additional appropriation, Arce said, will cover the roof well as building partitions and parking.

According to Arce, the construction of Unit II will take one year. It will be handled by Young Builders Corp., the same contractor that was awarded, during the time of former mayor Alvin Garcia, the contract to rebuild the Unit II building.

So the construction work will not be hampered, Arce said the estimated 500 vendors who are occupying the area where Unit II will be constructed will be transferred to M.L. Quezon Boulevard.

Arce said the vendors have expressed willingness to be transferred so the building will be immediately finished.

Aside from the groundbreaking ceremony yesterday, the City also inaugurated the new market office located on the second floor of Unit III.

The construction of the new market office is funded by a P5-million appropriation of the City.

In the meantime, Carbon market vendors hired a lawyer to gain more time before the Cebu City Council approves an ordinance “Instituting the Cebu City Market Code of 2011.”

The proposed ordinance aims to regulate the creation, classification, administration and operation of both government and privately owned and operated markets within Cebu City.

The Cebu Market Vendors Development Corp. (Cemvedco) sought the assistance of lawyer Maricar Suico-Le, who wrote the Council to say: “It is worthy to mention that some vendors and representatives of Cemvedco were only consulted on the proposed ordinance this month.”

“We deem it as insufficient time for us to make a comprehensive study of its effect on the lives of the ordinary vendors,” the letter read.

One of the provisions of the ordinance that Cemvedco wanted to clarify was the installation of rental fees fixed at a minimum of P5 and maximum of P10 per day, depending on the location.

While a rental has not been instituted in the current ordinance, the fee was fixed at P2.50 per day.

The proposed ordinance of Councilor Raul Alcoseba will, if approved, repeal Ordinance 1486 or the Revised Market Code of Cebu City.

On the fixed rate being proposed, Cemvedco wanted to know if this is in consonance with the Tax Code.

The vendors also asked under what basis a “goodwill price” will be set, since this was also not a provision under the present ordinance.

A “goodwill price” is the floor rate in bidding for market spaces.

Cemvedco, though, believes this is disadvantageous to the “lowly vendor” who cannot afford to competitively bid.

The new ordinance also seeks to reduce the contract of lease from two years to just one year, renewable for another year.

Cemvedco also questioned the privileges given to transient vendors who will be allowed to sell their goods inside the market upon payment of entrance fee.

“Will this not prejudice the interest of the stallholders?” asked Cemvedco in the letter.

Finally, Cemvedco asked for the postponement of the discussion on the proposed ordinance, until the group can intelligently make an opinion on whether the provisions are for the best interest of its members.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 28, 2012.

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