February 3, 2023

The City Planning and Development Office is still in the initial stage of a feasibility study for the construction of a modern satellite market at Gibraltar.

In the Oct. 12 session of the city council, CPDO head Donna Tabangin said the task force formed in 2019 to do the feasibility study has just finished conducting land tenure research where the task force verified that the site is a city property.

Tabangin disputed the claim of some citizens that a portion of the land in question is a private property.

She said the property with a tax declaration named under a private individual is situated 1.6-kilometers away from the site where the new satellite market will be built.

Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda advised Tabangin to work with the City Assessor’s Office regarding the verification of land tenure.

Tabangin said the next step is to plot the “zone of influence” of the proposed satellite market to determine whether the site is the most strategic location for the project. This is to address the concerns raised by the claimants.

According to the claimants, the new satellite market will not really benefit residents of districts 1 and 11 as it is relatively far from the neighborhood. They added the barangays in said districts have their own satellite markets 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. One hundred meters is five minutes of walking and one kilometer is 30 minutes. These information would help us determine whether there is truth in the claim of these citizens,” Tabangin said.

Tabangin said it would 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, she said the City Buildings and Architecture Office is set to finalize the revised design of the Gibraltar satellite market anytime this month.

Three public consultations regarding the modernization of satellite markets in the city were already conducted by the city council through the committee on market, trade and commerce, and agriculture.

Weygan-Allan said the plan for the project started in 2018 but was stalled due to the opposition by some individuals. The current administration was set to implement the project but slowed down due to the lockdown. – Jordan G. Habbiling