THE construction of a temporary structure to house stalls within the Block III section of Baguio City market is underway, Mayor Reinaldo Bautista Jr. announced Thursday.

The mayor said the project is part of his continuing program to implement small-scale but significant improvements at the central trading center mired in a continuing legal battle that has restrained the City Government from introducing full-scale development in the area despite its decrepit state.

He said the city plans to construct a temporary covered court style open structure like the one built at the burned tobacco and sari-sari sections to enable legitimate vendors to ply their trade conveniently.

"This is part of our resolve to have a market that is safe and orderly for the benefit of both the vendors and the consumers," Bautista said, noting the present state of the market that for years now has turned into an eyesore, fire and calamity hazard and haven of crime and disorder.

He said an amount of P18.5 million has been made available for the project.

Arch. Johnny Degay of the city building and architecture office said the plan for the project has been approved by Bautista and was submitted to the Public Bids and Qualifications Awards Committee of the city for publication and bidding.

Degay said the plan will cover more or less 300 stalls.

Bautista said the city targets the same project for the Block IV section.

Baguio City recently undertook the construction of a similar structure at the tobacco and sari-sari sections after the old structures were burned down by a fire in March last year. (Aileen P. Refuerzo)