The public market on Baguio’s 114th Charter Anniversary


After so many decades, a big eyesore in downtown Baguio remains to be the public market. Since time immemorial it has been an issue. It is supposed to be the city’s showcase, but what a showcase it is. Disorganized, dirty and unsightly, appearing like a slum. When was it due for modernization? 70 years ago. For lack of foresight, that was never done.
About thirty years ago, talks started going around for it to be finally modernized. So many vested interests, however, started dipping their sticky fingers into the idea and so many started opposing because they wanted the city to remain the way it is.
Problem was, the city’s population was growing exponentially due to inward migration. But the inflow of people did not result in our attitudes or brains to also grow exponentially. The result? The city public market remained as it is. A slum of a market place.
With progress and development must come also changes in infrastructures and other public places offering services to the people. Such though is just a lot of blah, blah blah. Whatever the arguments on both sides are, the long and short of things is we badly need a more beautiful market place, a sanitary one that is neat and orderly. The best way to accomplish that is to wipe out the whole area clean and start from scratch. Clinging to the past is just not practical. Or to use a stronger word, it is stupid as the city cannot be brought back to the way it was long ago.
Some are raising issues of some people going to make money if the place is modernized. They even mentioned corruption which is very probable. But in this country, let us face it, can anything be accomplished without corruption? We don’t think so. Even a good change for the better cannot be achieved without corruption.
So what choices do we have? We can just sit and let our slum of a market place remain or we can have it modernized with some people making money in the process and the developer making a killing.
The best choice though would be if the government could do it without corruption, with the public’s interest the only consideration. Is that possible with our realities? That would be heaven.
So it would be better for us to have modernization with all it drawbacks. It is a lot better than just doing nothing.**


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