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A decision of Cebu

The decision of majority of the Cebu City Council to go with the vision of the Megawide Construction Corporation for the so-called redevelopment of the Carbon Market has met serious opposition.

The Carbon Alliance has not just filed a case to legally stop the joint venture project of Megawide. It has given us an alternative idea of a Carbon Market

The joint venture between the Cebu City government and Megawide presents a market fit for a world class audience. While defenders insist the market will continue to be cheap, proposals presented for changes in the market code give us an idea of the increases in rentals.

The rates would effectively erase a big chunk of the vendors now plying in the market. Expect that in a few years, the remaining vendors and local brands would be replaced by “world class” brands. The Carbon stalls, like the malls sprouting in Metro Cebu, would soon be superseded with the big brands in Manila and other countries. 

How could our local vendors of ukay-ukay or the homegrown clothing industry compete with H&M? Can small bakeries or even Julies compete with Breadtalk? 

Cebuanos who can afford along with the tourists can always go to SM or Ayala or Robinson’s for these non-Cebuano brands. But where will we look for the stalls selling cheap goods in Cebu City that used to be sold in Carbon? 

Aside from our huge informal population in urban areas, small entrepreneurs behind our carenderias, barbecue stands, flower stalls, and others rely on buying cheap from their suppliers in Carbon. But where shall they go when Megawide fully takes over?

If the Carbon Alliance succeeds in stopping the joint venture project legally, it opens the gate for other alternative proposals for the development of the Carbon Market.

Cebuanos like a cleaner Carbon Market. But is the Megawide project, with all its flaws that majority of Councilors want to cure, the only one that can clean the market? Can’t a consortium of cooperatives, for instance, clean and develop Carbon more cheaply?