Gibraltar’s multi-storey satellite market soon to rise

BAGUIO CITY – (March 18, 2021) – The City Government is now prepared to execute its plan to rebuild the Gibraltar Satellite Market which is expected to jump-start mercantile activities in the northeastern part of the city, according to City Planning and Development Coordinator Donna Tabangin. The said project is funded by the city government at a capital cost of 110 million. Arch. Donna Tabangin said local and regional fresh produce such as meat, poultry, fish, fruits, and vegetables will be sold in the new satellite market benefiting the local farmers and traders in the city and in the region. The new satellite market will also showcase unique highland/Baguio arts and crafts as well as souvenir products; incorporate food incubation for start-ups and MSMEs; support restaurants highlighting local cuisines; provide a community event area for social and learning events and trainings; and help advertise the city as a tourist destination.Tabangin said the site where the modernized satellite market will be erected is the ideal location due to its proximity to the seven barangays in the area (Gibraltar, Pacdal, Mines View, St. Joseph, Country Club, Outlook Drive, and Lualhati). The proposed site is also within the vicinity of tourist destinations which is advantageous in terms of foot traffic. Moreover, it is located at the crossroads of Itogon, La Trinidad, and Ambuklao. Some local products sold at the present satellite market come from these neighboring places.The architectural design of the proposed structure was created by the City Buildings and Architecture Office headed by Arch. Johnny Degay. The basement will be a parking space with 32 slots. The ground floor will house two restaurants, a pasalubong center, and another parking space with 19 slots while the second floor will accommodate the wet section with 68 stalls. The fruits and vegetables section with 68 stalls will be located on the third floor. The fourth floor will have 57 stalls selling dry goods, pasalubong items, and foods. The fifth floor will be used for the putting up of a commercial kitchen where trainings for the startups and MSMEs will be conducted and for the establishment of a food incubation center. A total of 231 rentable stalls will be available once the new satellite market starts operating. Tabangin and Degay assured that all the 125 tenants who are legally conducting business at the present satellite market will be prioritized whereas other applicants will go through a selection process.During the construction period, the current tenants will be temporarily relocated either in front of the Rizal Elementary School or in adjacent barangay talipapas. The city’s projected total revenue per annum generated by the multi-storey building is 15.75 million including the collected rents of the stalls and the fees collected in the operation of the building’s parking spaces. During the regular session on March 15, the city council members gave a number of suggestions to be incorporated in the plan. The council approved the plan and design of the proposed project subject to revision. With the city council’s approval, the said project is ready to commence. Councilors Fred Bagbagen and Mylen Yaranon said the architectural design resembles that of a mall. Bagbagen suggested that the design should be Cordillera-inspired and culture-based.Meanwhile, Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda urged Tabangin to review the rental rates and ensure that the amounts are equitable. Having authored various ordinances for the establishment of satellite markets in different districts in the city, Councilor Philian Weygan-Allan said the plan for the project started in 2018 but was stalled due to the opposition by some individuals. It was picked up by the current administration but was again slowed down due to the pandemic. The current administration is determined to complete the project, she said.“The construction of the Gibraltar satellite market was expected to start last year, but it was delayed due to the pandemic. Hopefully we can proceed with the construction as soon as possible. That is why our hands are full at the moment with all the groundwork. It is a tedious process, but we are making progress,” Weygan-Allan said.Councilor Benny Bomogao, in a resolution, requested the Traffic and Transportation Management Division of the City Engineering Office to submit to the council a study on the impact of the construction of the proposed satellite market to the flow of traffic in the area. -Jordan G. Habbiling