On August 14, the first public hearing and consultation on Joint Venture Ordinance (JV Ordinance), between San Andres vendors and city councilors was held at the Manila City Hall.
With the passage of the ordinance, 17 markets are set to be demolished to give way to the redevelopment plans for newer and more modernized public markets.
In an interview with Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada, he says that the JV Ordinance is part of the flagship program of the Aquino administration, Public-Private Partnership or PPP.
The ordinance creates mechanisms for private sectors to invest in the redevelopment project.
This joint venture is said to help relieve the city hall’s deficient financial situation. However, the San Andres vendors reiterated that expenditure to the redevelopment of markets is the LGU’s full responsibility and not the work of private entities enclosed in the contract.
They highlighted their opposition to the privatization of Manila markets as this calls for higher rent fees and uncertainty to their relocation as soon as the project finishes.
Meanwhile, the city councilors claim that the ordinance for Manila markets was made to give public markets equitable competition in relation to those surrounding private markets.
It was mentioned, however, that the joint venture proposal did not undergo proper consultation with affected vendors before it was carried out.
In effect, the demolition started with Quinta market on the day of President Aquino’s last State of the Nation Address. As soon as the market vendors knew of the plans for demolition, a protest was organized to decry the lack of dialogue and transparency from the LGU.
They said that the commencement of the implementation has resulted to the neglect to their basic rights as they were forcibly displaced.