In defense of Carbon - Part 5

CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal (The Freeman) - February 24, 2021 - 12:00am

The privatization of Carbon, euphemistically and publicly orchestrated as a public-private partnership, is Cebu’s biggest blunder of the century. The collaborators will be written in Cebu’s history as traitors and pimps of the prostitution of Cebu’s oldest market, predating the Spanish colonization.

The joint-venture agreement, hidden from public scrutiny as if it is the devil’s scroll, is loaded with garbage provisions onerous to Cebu City and strategically designed as a death warrant to the vendors of Carbon. The city will be prostituting Carbon for 50 years, extendable for another 25 years.

Among others, is the scheduled yearly increase of the rentals of the spaces/stalls and the adjudicatory power of the private entity on the vendors and stall owners. The agreement empowers the private entity as the lone magistrate, dictating how Carbon Market will be managed. This is a blatant violation of City’s Market Code.

The city will no longer collect fees and supervise the vendors as this will be abrogated to the private entity who will unilaterally manage the Carbon Market. The city officials who will be assigned in Carbon will be like scarecrows, for appearance purpose only.

The Cebuanos must know that the boasted P5.5-billion budget will be invested in the construction of buildings and what the city gets for the first year of privatization is a small amount of few millions. This is outrageous! Cebu City is shortchanged, robbed in broad daylight.

In the Golden Book of Cebu (1937), it is written: “There are 12 public markets in the city, 5 of which are opened daily and rest on market days. These markets give the city a monthly average income from P13,000 to P14,000, The biggest of these markets are the Carbon and the Taboan.”

This was the income, almost a century ago, and now you are abandoning Carbon in exchange for a few millions a year? The problem of Carbon is not Carbon itself, the problems lies in the poverty of love for the city, noble ideas, sound fiscal management and urban planning of our city officials.

Long live the Cebuanos. We will defend Carbon.

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