New public market to rise at Baywalk

The proposed new tour packages, once approved by the City Tourism Council, will be forwarded to the City Council for adoption through an ordinance. (File photo)

The city government is aiming to open a new public market before the end of this year to be located within the Puerto Princesa Baywalk property.

Mayor Lucilo Bayron said Monday the P192 million public market will provide spaces to more vendors that could not be accommodated by the existing public markets.

“Makakadagdag ‘yon na pwedeng mapuwestuhan ng mga kababayan natin,” he told Palawan News in an interview after the flag ceremony at the City Hall.

He said the ordinance governing public markets will be reviewed to uphold the rights of the vendors.

“Ire-review na ‘yong market code na dapat talaga taga-Puerto ‘yong nagtitinda, saka dapat tig-iisang stall lang. ‘Yong nakaraan kasi maraming-marami na ‘yong stall kasi bawat isa nabibili nila ‘yong katabi nila. Ipagbabawal ‘yon o hahanapan ng solusyon na hindi magkaganoon ulit,” he said.

Bayron said the planned public market when constructed would help boost the image of Puerto Princesa City as a tourism destination.

“Mababawas-bawasan nito ‘yong kahihiyan natin sa palengke dahil pumupunta ‘yong mga turista natin [diyan]. Talagang nakakahiya ‘yong sitwasyon ng palengke kaya kailangan na natin ng bago,” he added.

Bayron added the construction will be bid out to a private contractor. The funding, he added, will come from the savings of the City government since 2015.

Atty. Arnel Pedrosa, the acting City administrator, said the budget will come through supplemental budget appropriation ordinance to be passed by the City Council.

“Once it has an approved budget contract, that’s the time we will bid it out,” he told Palawan News in a separate interview.

Pedrosa said the City government targets to conduct a bidding for this new market by September and start its construction by October.

Meanwhile, Pedrosa said they will “take over the existing new and old public markets from Areza-Cruz Realty Development Corporation as the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the City government.

“Ang plano namin diyan i-take over na agad kasi nga na-dissolved ‘yong lease contract with Areza-Cruz. Sabi ng Court of Appeals void from the very beginning, ibig sabihin inexistent siya,” he said.

Pedrosa, also the City legal officer, said if Areza-Cruz will “continue to refuse” recognizing the City government’s authority over these two public markets, they might resort to demanding payment for damages.

“Kasi kung mapapansin mo hanggang ngayon wala silang development. Hindi sila nag-introduce ng building o any building na nakalagay do’n sa lease contract. Hindi na maganda ‘yong sanitation saka overall condition ng ating dalawang public markets,” he said.

Pedrosa said the City government will rehabilitate the existing public markets once they gain full control over them.

“Just in case na mapunta na nga sa atin ‘yan eventually, dahil nga sa court decision ng Court of Appeals, saka pa lang siguro pwede gawa’n ng action ng City government. Ire-rehabilitate siya at gawing public market ulit o i-devote siya for other public purpose,” he added.

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