EDITORIAL — From eyesores to tourist attractions

The Freeman
EDITORIAL � From eyesores to tourist attractions

A recent report in this newspaper said that public markets in Cebu City are currently undergoing a facelift through a public-private-partnership scheme.

In talks with market administrator Robert Barquilla, vendors' organizations said beautification, sanitation, and keeping the public market clean are what topped their ideas to improve the markets.

“Ako sila gi-meeting (vendors’ associations) nga nindoton nato atong market para limpyo nya maka-attract og customers unya nitando og ni-support pod sila,” said Barquilla.

Indeed, we must never forget that markets are the heart of any community. Aside from being a place where people can get what they need for everyday living, these places also serve a social function; it’s where people meet to socialize and create business and personal ties. It’s also a strategic location for many barangay offices; usually the barangay hall is never located far from, if it’s not right smack in, a market.

But the market can also be an eyesore and a smelly one at that. Worse, it can also be a haven for criminal activity. Because people come to the market to buy stuff, purses and pockets full of cash might prove too irresistible a target for thieves.

It would help to keep our markets safe, accessible, and clean. Sadly, we are always sure to find trash heaps and open canals in our public markets that many of the vendors and visitors have become inured to the smell. We don’t even want to discuss the lack of adequate toilets.

We often look with envy upon foreign public markets featured in cooking or travel shows. In such shows we see tourists or chefs as they look over stall after stall for fresh produce in public markets that don’t look like public markets at all. We never see open canals or piles of garbage like we see here.

This is all the more reason why we should make our markets safe, clean, presentable, and easily accessible; so they can also become tourist attractions by themselves.

It would seem the city’s market administration is on the right track, let’s hope this initiative bears fruit.

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