1st ever world-class public market to rise in Cebu

By Ileana Cortes

CEBU CITY, Feb. 9 (PIA) — A ceremonial groundbreaking will be held next month to kick off the P5.5-B rehabilitation project of the Carbon Market, which will become the first ever world-class public market in the country.

Louie Ferrer, Megawide Construction Corp. chief corporate affairs and branding officer, said as part of the company’s vision to develop a “first world Cebu”, through a public-private partnership, the project is envisioned to transform Carbon Market into a commercial, heritage and cultural district.

Amid the continuing pandemic, he added that this infrastructure project of the biggest and oldest public market in Cebu City is a sign of recovery efforts.

Ferrer said the agreement includes the construction, development, and operation of mixed-use assets for a 50-year concession period, which means the facility will already be owned by the city government upon completion of project.

The concession period could be extended for 25 more years upon mutual agreement of both parties, according to Ferrer.

Likewise, he added that the city government would contribute to the exclusive use and possession of the project site.

Ferrer denied claims that the Carbon Market will be “privatized”.

“Ang privatization that’s false information because at the end of the day, ang tag-iya gyud ani kay ang gobyerno. Kami motabang lang sa pag operate (The privatization is false information because at the end of the day, it’s still government-owned. We will only assist with the operation),” he said.

Ferrer assured that while the Carbon Market is being redeveloped, operations will still continue.

He said Megawide will be refurbishing the current Carbon Unit 2 from March to September 2021 which could accommodate up to 700 vendors.

Around 300 vendors from Freedom Park and Warwick Barracks will be transferred to Unit 2, after which the construction for the new market will start.

Terry Angan, Megawide’s head of commercial operations, said the new Carbon Market will be a low-rise structure.

“The whole idea is to preserve the entire downtown area. It will be just low-rise buildings. We don’t want to block the Basilica (Sto. Niño church), Cathedral, and the Chinese museum. We need to preserve the culture and heritage and the historical look of the area,” said Angan.

She said it will take two years for the new market to be completed by the end of 2024.

Angan said the Megawide Foundation will offer skills and livelihood training for affected residents in Carbon, equipping target beneficiaries with basket weaving and basic entrepreneurial skills. (idc/PIA7)