ILOILO

Opposition to proposed relocation of Kalibo Public Market mounts

OPPOSITION coming from several stakeholders in Kalibo, Aklan is mounting against the proposal of the relocation of the new Kalibo Public Market by the local government.

The need for relocation of the new Kalibo Public Market came after the wet market in Barangay Andagao had been mostly razed by fire in September 2019. Affected vendors were only given makeshift stalls as temporary areas to sell goods.

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Aklan Chapter led the opposition by issuing a public statement, saying the Kalibo local government unit (LGU) failed to present a concrete and proper study for the establishment of the new public market.

"The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry‚ÄďAklan stands as follows: Preserve and develop the present public market; Open a bigger public market in another area, with at least 2 to 5 hectares, the size of which fits a capital town (future city); and one that will spur economic development and growth and lessen the cost of doing business," part of the PCCI-Aklan statement read.

The Kalibo LGU proposed the usage of the vacant lot on Nicanor Martelino Street in Barangay Andagao, Kalibo for the establishment of the new public market, which will cost around P160 million.

Aside from the PCCI, other stakeholders are opposing the project, such as the Sangguniang Bayan of Kalibo, Asia-Pacific Medical Center-Aklan, and several vendors and residents.

Several concerned residents also offered their vacant lot for free to allow the reconstruction of the old and current public market. Some vendors hoped that the construction of the old public market will be divided into phases.

In a statement coming from the Asia-Pacific Medical Center, it hoped the Kalibo LGU would reconsider its plans to the vendors to the vacant lot on Martelino Street as it is also the site where the medical center is being constructed.

"We implored the municipal government of Kalibo to 'exercise caution and due diligence' in choosing and acquiring the relocation site for market vendors," said Asia-Pacific Medical Center in its letter addressed to the Sangguniang Bayan of Kalibo.

The APMC-Aklan also questioned the said proposal, as it is not reportedly included in the Comprehensive Land Use Plan of Kalibo.

The SB-Kalibo, meanwhile, hoped the local government would use its budget for the establishment of a public hospital rather than using its credit line funds for the new public market.

The local government plans to make the new Kalibo Public Market an enterprise government building.

Kalibo Mayor Emerson Lachica said the proposal for a public hospital was currently not included in the Annual Investment Plan of Kalibo.

"I hope the SB would not force me to do what they wanted," Lachica said. (SunStar Philippines)


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