May 31, 2009 in Baguio City
By LYN V. RAMO
BAGUIO CITY — Vendors here appeared satisfied as they reached a compromise with the city council on the design of the proposed market temporary building that would replace the makeshift sheds they built after the fire in March.
Acting on the vendors and stall owners’ request to provide passages between the stalls, the council session came close to a standstill as vendors participated in the discussion on the floor layout of the market. The temporary edifice will restore the burned down market place.
The initial proposal was to assign a number of rows for 5.7 square-meter stalls and for 3.15 square meters. The vendors finally agreed to a plan for a uniform 4.8 sq. mtr. stall size, as the City Building and Architecture Office (CBAO) earlier proposed.
The vendors however stood pat on their position to include passages between the stalls to the center alley for easier customer access and better building ventilation. The city council acceded, “provided the plan does not violate any provision of the National Building Code.”
As the dialog reached an initial agreement, the city council requested City Buildings and Architecture Officer (CBAO) Oscar Flores to finalize the plan in 10 days.
In a related development, in the same session, the city council, in a bid to come up with a new city market building in time for the city’s centenary on September 1, asked City Administrator Peter Fianza to prepare for the negotiated procurement.
It is the fastest legal procedure to do since the building plan requires 78 days, according to Fianza. The bidding process, he said, starts only after 20 days from the receipt of the purchase request by the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC). A regular bidding would require 43-100 days.
With barely four months away from the centenary, Flores is not so optimistic the city would have a new market building before September 1.
The grocery section of the city market earlier caught fire in February last year. At the height of the flower festival in March this year, another fire razed the vegetable and tobacco section. No public construction to restore the burnt market has been made since.
In the meantime, most stall owners have fixed their respective roofs. Market stall owner Lilian Baniwas who has been in the market for more than 40 years said the vendors contributed to build the temporary roof.
Market vendors associations have volunteered to build the market out of cooperative money but the city officials turned down the offer, saying the city market should be restored from government funds.# nordis.net