By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Around 180 Hinigaran Public Market vendors walked out of a public hearing conducted by the local Sangguniang Bayan Committee on Markets earlier this week. The meeting was held to discuss the proposed construction of a new public market, which is estimated to cost P210 million and would be funded through a loan and a partnership with a private business firm.
Opponents to the proposal, including former Provincial Board Member Angelito Colmenares, who was among those who walked out, protested the demolition of the current market and demanded the ordinance be presented.
Colmenares eventually took the floor and, after town officials were unable to present the ordinance, declared, “This public hearing is null and void.”
The former provincial official said he has seen the contract drawn up with the private firm and called it “grossly disadvantageous” to town residents.
Also present at the hearing were Hinigaran Mayor Nadie Arceo, Vice Mayor Teresita Gabrido, and all the members of the Town Council.
Earlier, Arceo said a new public market was part of his vision to make Hinigaran “the center of development in south-central part of the province.” He also noted, the private partner for the venture was the Cebu City-based Metro Gaisano Group.
Colmenares argued the town would be responsible for entering a loan, while the private firm would get control of the market./DGB, WDJ