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REBUILDING

New Lucena City market rises from the ashes

MALL LOOK-ALIKELucena City’s new public market rises on the site of an old one razed by fire in 2014.—DELFIN T. MALLARI JR.

MALL LOOK-ALIKE Lucena City’s new public market rises on the site of an old one razed by fire in 2014.—DELFIN T. MALLARI JR.

LUCENA CITY—The new P99-million city public market that replaced the old one destroyed by fire in 2014 formally opened on Saturday.

Lucena Mayor Roderick Alcala led city officials in the blessing and formal opening of the new market on its former site along Claro M. Recto Street.

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The total floor area for the two-story market, including parking areas, is 7,392 square meters.

The new market has a total of 665 stalls.

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Alcala described the new market as “like a shopping mall.” “My only request to vendors is to maintain the cleanliness of this market,” he said.

“Marketing is no longer an annoying task,” said Amelia Reyes, retired teacher.

Reyes said her 12-year-old granddaughter had refused to go the old market but this changed. “She even volunteered to join me now,” said Reyes.

“Now, I can teach her the art of haggling,” said Reyes, laughing.

Arnel Avila, city public information officer, said the city government would no longer allow one vendor to own more than one stall.

“Only one stall per person,” said Avila. Rent varies depending on stall location, he said.

The city government borrowed money to finance the construction of the new market.

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“The interest payment is low. It will not bleed the city coffers dry,” Avila said.

In May 2014, a fire, caused by faulty wiring and illegal connections, razed the former city public market and destroyed more than 300 stalls at the dry goods building. Exploding gas stoves and stocks of calcium carbide in some stalls caused the fire to spread.

Spared from the fire is a two-story wet market building separated by a narrow road from the burned market.

In 1965, the city public market was also razed to the ground in a fire that almost wiped out the entire city.

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TAGS: Fire, Lucena City, market, Reconstruction, Roderick Alcala
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