More than 5,000 stakeholders of the Carbon Public Market have signed a petition to express their support for the district’s modernization. They included long-time vendors, karumateros, community stakeholders, and other Cebu City residents.
“The Carbon Market Modernization Project aims to develop the historic Carbon District into a cleaner, safer, and a more vibrant historical and economic complex. The partners aim to uplift the quality of experience for all stakeholders – vendors, business owners, transport operators and the public – and encourage the growth of tourism and local entrepreneurship,” said the petition signed by the stakeholders.
For over two years, members of the Cebu City Government and its private sector partner Cebu2World Development, Inc. (C2W) have been holding regular consultations with the market’s main stakeholders, including vendors and other members of the Carbon community, whose suggestions and concerns have already been incorporated into the overall project plan.
“These 5,000 signatures signify the strong support of Cebuanos for the improvement of Carbon to provide a better quality of life not only for the people whose livelihoods depend on it, like our vendors or karomateros, but also a cleaner, safer, and more efficient market for the public with the same affordable prices,” said Cristina Angan, C2W Director.
The petition also debunked issues still being raised against the project despite repeated clarifications. This includes rental rates, which will remain the same – or become even more affordable in some instances, while any future adjustments will have to go through the approval of the LGU).
The new and cleaner market will also attract ”lost customers,” comprised mainly of a more affluent market who have stopped visiting Carbon due to various health and security reasons, which was further complicated by the pandemic. The return of lost customers, and the attraction of a wider market are expected to translate to increased sales for vendors.
“Sa kasamtangan, dili kini makita sa Carbon tungod sa mga isyu sa seguridad, trapiko, parking, ug kalimpyo. Ang mas hapsay nga merkado makadani og mas daghan nga mamalitay, nga makahatag og mas maayong panginabuhian sa tanan.” said Sabina Utlang, representing the Cebu Vendors Credit Cooperative. (As of now we rarely see them (A and B market) in Carbon because of the security, traffic, parking and sanitation issues. A more orderly market means more customers and, thus, better livelihood for everyone.)
The petition also belied accusations of displacement in the new market – all registered vendors, whether stalled or ambulant, will be provided better, cleaner, and improved vending spaces. This is also part of the commitment made by C2W to the LGU
“Sa daghan nang katuigan, ang mga dalan ug eskinita sa Carbon Market nahimo nang katindahan sa mga vendor, nga nakasupak sa balaod nga ang maong mga dapit dili angay para sa pagpaninda. Apan sa maong proyekto, kaming mga market vendor makasinati na og desente nga katindahan nga dugay na namong gihandom,” said Maria Victoria Abellana, Vice Chairperson of the CVCCO Multipurpose Cooperative and Vice President of Unit 2 Carbon Market Stallholders. (For so many years, streets, alleys, and sidewalks surrounding Carbon Market became the alternative for buying and selling, thus defying the law that streets, alleys, and sidewalks are beyond the commerce of man. But with this development, we the market vendors will have a decent space for vending that we have been longing for.)
The petition also clarified that the project will be beneficial to the Cebu City Government, which will be getting up to PhP75 million annually in annual guaranteed payments and applicable taxes.
“Kusganon namong gisuportahan ang pagtukod sa Megawide sa modernong Carbon Market. Nanghinaot mi nga magsugod na kini puhon aron nga maka-benepisyo na mi sa mas dako nga halin ug mas luwas nga merkado alang sa mga vendor ug mamalitay,” said Celina Uraca, director of the Unit 2 Vendors Association and Cebu City Vendors Association (CCUVA). (We strongly support the construction of the much-awaited modern public market by Megawide. We hope that it will start at the soonest possible time so we can finally enjoy the benefit of increased sales plus a cleaner safer market for both vendors and market-goers).”
“The future of Carbon is not with the dilapidated stalls and muddy floors that have inconvenienced vendors and turned away many loyal customers. Carbon deserves a future that is at par Cebu’s reputation as a world-class city. Modernizing Carbon is a sign of respect for the role it has played in our region’s commerce, Cebu’s history, and its future,” said Angan.