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
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 The Carbon stalls, like the malls sprouting in Metro Cebu, would soon be superseded with the big brands in Manila and other countries.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?