Embattled Megawide Signs P5.5 Billion Contract To Develop Cebu City Market

IMAGE Megawide

Just weeks after it lost the Original Proponent Status (OPS) for the rehabilitation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Megawide is bouncing back with a new project. 

The listed engineering and construction firm announced on Monday that it had formally entered into a joint venture agreement with the local government of Cebu City for the development of the Cebu Carbon Market. It had first submitted the proposal last year. 

Photo by Megawide.

Megawide is investing P5.5 billion to the project, while Cebu City will contribute the exclusive use and possession of the project site. The JVA includes construction, development, and operation of mixed-use assets on the project site for a term of 50 years, which is extendable for another 25 years.

Carbon Market is the oldest and largest farmer’s market in Cebu City, with historians estimating that it was first established in the early 20th century. According to a Cebu Daily News article, Megawide's proposal to “modernize” the market involves transforming “the area from Freedom Park to the seaside area of Carbon into a business center with in-city hotels, restaurant hub, parks, and a ‘well-designed’ public market.” 

The company plans to turn Block 1 and 2 of the property into the main market, with stalls lined along the walkways. Block 3 will be the wholesaler’s hub or bagsakan, while Block 5 will be a lifestyle hub for shops and other establishments. Block 5 will become a space for restaurants and food stalls, Block 6 will be reserved for hotels, and the last portion of the area will be for a Puso Market or caravan stall area for a night market.

Photo by Megawide.

“We really aim for the Carbon Market to be a first-world public market,” Cebu Daily News quoted Megawide Managing Director for Transport Louie Ferrer as saying. 

Reports say the project will take about five years to be completed. 

In December 2020, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) withdrew Megawide Construction Corp. and its foreign partner GMR International of India’s OPS for the rehabilitation of NAIA. The news was relayed to Megawide through a letter signed by MIAA’s Corporate Secretary Leonides Cruz. Although the letter did not state a reason for the revocation of the OPS, various reports indicate the issue has something to do with Megawide’s financial capabilities to take on a project this massive.

Megawide is the company behind the new terminal of the Mactan Cebu Internatioal Airport, the construction of the new passenger terminal building of the Clark International Airport in Pampanga, and the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange in Metro Manila. 

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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