Mabilog: No displacement of market vendors-A A +A
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
ILOILO City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog has assured more than 1,000 stall owners and vendors of their right to occupy spaces at the central public market once it is operated by a private entity.
City administrator Norlito Bautista delivered Mabilog’s assurance in a meeting with some 200 vendors of the central market Wednesday, May 7, at the City Hall.
Bautista said the return of the legitimate stall owners to the market was assured under the term of reference (TOR), which provides a guideline on the construction and awarding of stalls at the central market.
The City Government is set to start the redevelopment and rehabilitation of the central market under a joint venture and so far, only one bidder, SM Prime Holdings Inc. (SPMHI) submitted its offer to participate and prequalify in the bidding conducted by the special bids and awards committee.
Bautista said Mabilog instructed the city market committee to consult the legitimate vendors and to assure them that no vendor will be displaced.
The central market has a total of 1,025 stalls on top of several spaces for some 1,800 transient vendors paying cash tickets. Seven hundred stalls are vacant and not paying rent, according to market officer Ely Sumaray.
The vendors sent a letter of protest dated May 2, 2014 to Bautista saying they were not consulted on the offer for bidding under the guise of privatization of the public market.
The Association of Stall Owners and Transient Vendors of the Iloilo City Public Market Inc. under its president Rex Jiz Donasco said the government must be the one to construct and manage the market and not a private firm.
The vendors will also file a petition with the City Council to amend or repeal the TOR enacted by the City Council through resolution 2014-136 on January 28, 2014.
The resolution separates the central market from the two other subcomponents under the central business project project.
However, Bautista said the construction, operation and management of the central market is still under premature negotiation since the lone offer is being evaluated by the SBAC.
The City Council will still have to file an ordinance authorizing the city mayor to sign a contract with the joint venture bidder.