No photo available

58 views - 2 months ago

We have to defend Carbon Market

Carbon Market is part of the Lutao District. It is so called, as seawater enters the land. However, “Lutao” in Tausog means “ghost” that supposedly abound the area as its protectors. Ermita also a part of the district means “chapel.” It is also said that it is so called as it is where “hermits” find solace.

The privatization of Carbon Market is cultural sacrilege. Public officials who are conduit to such agreement has committed the crime of cultural simony. Carbon market predates its naming during the American occupation in the early 1900’s it was already there during the Spanish occupation.

The privatization of Carbon Market would never benefit the ordinary Cebuano -- the consumers and vendors. Carbon Market is not just the marketplace for Cebu City residents. It caters the whole province of Cebu and nearby provinces in Visayas who manufacture and produce of what is sold in the market.

The hasty and unilateral act of few Cebu City public officials of abandoning its stewardship of the market and abrogating it to an entity foreign to Cebu is a crime. The proposed demolition of its buildings is a perverted and distorted appreciation of progress. It is cultural regression. While officials elsewhere are preserving century old building and districts, few Cebu City Public Officials are allowing its aesthetic surgery, like a face and nose lift. The rustic ambience and simplicity of Carbon Market is its beauty. Mutating it to a modern mall is cultural stupidity.

It is a tragedy that those bestowed with the sacred duty of protection have become accomplices of destruction. Carbon Market’s last bastion is the intervention of Divinely Almighty and the ghosts of Lutao District, which for centuries protected and haunted.

Carbon is also a heritage site of the Visayas and Mindanao. Carbon market is owned by the people and they deserve to know the truth. The Public Market is being leased, couched in the term “joint venture” for a period of 50 YEARS, in the amount of P5.5B. The lease does not state the specifics of where the amount is for. Is it only for the lease or the amount of the project? 

When would the amount be given to the city government? It is therefore imperative for the Cebu City Council to recall the authorization bestowed to the City Chief Executive regarding the project for it to reexamine.

There must be sobriety in placing the Carbon Market in the hands of an entity foreign to Cebu. The Mayor and the City Council are elected to serve only for a period of three years. Thus, it could not arrogate upon themselves the decision alone and unilaterally shackle Carbon for 50 years. Even the Constitution only allows the government to issue franchises to business entities for only 25 years.

The privatization of Carbon is, in effect, prostitution using the deceptive term “modernization.” The Cebuanos are being disenfranchised on deciding the future of a heritage site to elected and appointed public officials who may not be alive during the 50-year period leasehold.

The Carbon Market was donated to the city by the national government on May 13, 1964 and the Freedom Park originally called Washington Plaza the bastion of Cebuano free speech and political freedom was owned by the Order of Augustinian Recollects (OAR) likewise donated to the city.

Allegations that conspirators for the desecration of Carbon Market have engaged PR firms to sanitize the evil and vile odor of the lease and compounded by reports of vendors harassed by city employees must be validated and investigated by the Cebu City Council.

The Cebu City Council in the performance of its sacred duty must hear the true voices of the vendors, consumers and all the stakeholders of Carbon and not just the chosen, rehearsed, and recycled vendors and associations who are biased in favor of its privatization.