4 upgraded Manila markets set to reopen on Erap b-day
FOUR of the five public markets being rehabilitated by the Manila city government with the help of the private sector are scheduled to be reopened in time for Mayor Joseph Estrada’s 79th birthday next week, according to an official overseeing the projects.
City engineer Roberto Bernardo said the Sta. Ana, San Andres, Sampaloc and Trabajo markets would be relaunched on April 19, along with the newly renovated public parks Mehan Garden and Remedios Circle.
Used by about 700 vendors, the four markets were renovated under a joint venture agreement (JVA) with XRC Mall Developer Inc., said city markets administrator Annie Balboa.
Meanwhile, Quinta market, which Bernardo said required more work, may already be partially operational before the May 9 elections. “We practically had to reconstruct Quinta,” he said. “Before the election, we can let the vendors back in; but the reconstruction still won’t be complete, maybe just 75- to 80-percent.”
Work at the three-level market in the Quiapo area has so far installed the main posts, flooring and portions of the roof. Of the five projects, Quinta proved to be the most contentious when vendors protested the demolition of the old market in July last year and sought a court order against the JVA with Marketplace Management and Leasing Corp.
But Bernardo said the more than 200 vendors affected by the rehabilitation of Quinta will be allowed back inside to occupy the ground floor, which has been designated as a wet-and-dry goods area. The second and third floors will be for parking and other commercial outlets.
Under the JVA, Marketplace will renovate Quinta at a cost of P90 million and then operate it for 25 years. Vendors earlier feared that the upgrade would mean higher rental fees, but Estrada assured them that the new rates would be “acceptable, justifiable, and not excessive.”
Estrada awarded vendors “certificates of tenure” to ensure that they would have a spot inside the new Quinta market. They were also allowed to set up temporary stalls rent-free along the market’s perimeter.
In a statement on Monday, the mayor reiterated that the public markets would “remain owned by the Manila city government, and accessible and affordable to Manileños.”
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