By Jordan G. Habbiling
THE feasibility study for the construction of a modernized satellite market at Gibraltar Barangay is still at its initial stage.
This was the information given by Architect Donna Tabangin, City Planning and Development Office coordinator, to the city council during the regular session on October 12.
It can be remembered that in 2019, the council requested for the creation of a task force composed of representatives from the City Planning and Development Office, the City Accounting Office, the City Buildings and Architecture Office, and the City Engineering Office to conduct a feasibility study on the proposed construction of the said satellite market.
Tabangin explained that their office has just finished conducting land tenure research, and that they have been able to verify that the site is indeed a property of the city and that it has been identified for the said purpose.
In the same forum, Tabangin disputed the claim of certain citizens that a portion of the land in question is a declared private property. She said the property with a tax declaration named under a private individual is not within the site identified for the construction of the new satellite market but is rather situated 1.6-kilometer away from the site.
Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda advised Tabangin to work with the City Assessor’s Office regarding the said verification of land tenure.
Tabangin said that the next step will be the plotting of the “zone of influence” of the proposed satellite market to determine whether the identified site is the most strategic location for the project. This was to address the concerns raised by same citizens claiming the land to be private property.
According to the claimants, the identified location for the construction of the new satellite market which is expected to cater to Districts I and XI would not be favorable to the residents therein as it is relatively far from the neighborhoods. They also pointed out that the barangays in the said districts have their satellite markets,talipapas, and stores.
“Through a survey, we would like to determine who would be the users of the proposed satellite market. We need to consider the walking distance of residents going to the satellite market. 100 meters is five minutes of walking and one kilometer is 30 minutes. This information will help us determine whether there is truth in the claim of these citizens,” Tabangin said.
Tabangin said it will take their office a month to complete the feasibility study.
In a recent meeting attended by Councilor Philian Weygan-Allan, author of various ordinances for the establishment of satellite markets in different districts in the city, it was revealed that the City Buildings and Architecture Office is set to finalize the revised architectural design of the Gibraltar satellite market by October.
Three public consultations regarding the construction/modernization of satellite markets in the city were already conducted by the city council through the Committee on Market, Trade and Commerce, and Agriculture chaired by Weygan-Allan.
Weygan-Allan said the plan for the project started in 2018 but was stalled due to the opposition of some individuals. It was picked up by the current administration but was again slowed down due to the pandemic. The current administration is determined to complete the project, she said.
“The construction of the Gibraltar satellite market was expected to start this year, but it was delayed due to the pandemic. Hopefully we can proceed with the construction at the end of this year. That is why our hands are full at the moment with all the groundwork. It is a tedious process, but we are making progress,” Weygan-Allan said.