THE Office of the Cebu City Markets (OCM) plans to increase the stall rental rate in the city markets from P1 per square meter to P10 per square meter as agreed with the vendors in a meeting held in 2014.

In a press briefing conducted by the OCM for its 2014 market accomplishment, Assistant Market Administrator Arnel Quijano said that the market division initially wanted to increase the rate to P30 per square meter but the vendors disagreed, saying that it was too much for them.

Quijano said that the rental rate hike may vary depending on the agreement among the vendors in their market areas.

At present, the agreed maximum rate by majority of the vendors is P10 per square meter.

The plan has been included in the revision proposal of the Market Code, which was sponsored by Councilor Alvin Arcilla. It is still up for approval by the City Council.

He, however, clarified that the OCM will have to do a counter-check on which City market should have a raise in rental rate and which of these should not impose an increase.

There are 11 public markets in Cebu City.

These are Units I, II, and III of Carbon Market, Taboan Public Market, Freedom Park in Carbon, Warwick Barracks in Barangay Ermita, Pardo Public Market, Pasil Fish Market, F. Ramos Market and T. Padilla Market.

As of 2014, OCM earned a total gross income of P55.5 million, which came from the total sales of the public markets in the city.

Units I, II and III of Carbon Market earned P4.6 million, P3.2 million and P4.1 million, respectively.

The Taboan Public Market posted an earning of P5.3 million; Freedom Park is P4.9 million; Warwick Barracks with P847,000 earnings; and Pardo Public Market and Pasil Fish Market with P2.1 million and P8.5 million income, respectively.

The F. Ramos Market has an income of P2.8 million, while the T. Padilla Market earned P1.8 million.

Some P16.9 million was collected from penalties from violators and pay parking.

As for the market division’s 2015 budget, Quijano said it has already been approved by the City Council.

For 2015, OCM has a budget of P80.7 million. These include P29.6 million for personnel services, P19.2 million for maintenance and operating office expenditures and P6.8 million for capital outlay.

The Warwick Barracks, which was razed by a fire in January 2014, has been converted into a temporary parking area.

Quijano said that Mayor Michael Rama initially wanted to make the Warwick into a Bagsakan Center (loading and unloading area for vendors) but it was not yet realize.

He said that designating an area for a proper Bagsakan Center is important.

The OCM is also proposing for the creation of an Auction Market this year. The Auction Market is a designated area where all the prices of products/goods are controlled by the City Government.

On Rama’s plan to relocate vendor on the streets of Manalili, Colon and in Carbon area, Quijano said that it should undergo an extensive planning. (Rona Joyce T. Fernandez, CNU Comm Intern)