Tabuk City, Kalinga – The dismantling of stalls at the Bulanao Public Market which started on May 16, 2022, for the construction of the XRC mall and market in the area continues and is now in its third week.
According to a stall owner at the public market, government employees who owned 6 unoccupied stalls were the first ones to voluntarily dismantle their structures inside the public market. She added that one residential was demolished.
“Daytoy maysa piman, balay daytoy dati ni Johnny Sal-ao, adda diay anak na ken diay asawa na nga aagyan. They are both PWD, pareho da nga umel. Isuda iti nabagbag iti balay da. Awan maaramidan dan a ta nabagbag, so timmulong iti barangay a nanghakot iti gamit da, inyawid da idiay Bantay,” she relayed.
These seven structures were located beside the barangay hall, which is said to be the first area where parts of the XRC mall and market are to be constructed. On May 24, it was said that two stock rooms containing ready-to-wear and grocery items were ‘forcibly opened’.
“Idi early morning, inikkat dan diay maysa nga roll up, iti nagyan na diay ket RTWs. Tinmulong met piman diay makinbagi ta anya ngay ngarud awan maaramidan na,” she said.
She also narrated that police were called when the other stock room, the one with the merchandise items, was opened without consent from the owner. The reason behind the forced opening of the said room was due to allegations that the grocery items inside were expired. The responding police officer checked the items already loaded in a truck and affirmed that they are not yet expired.
With the impending erection of XRC mall at the Bulanao Public Market and the demolition of stalls, stall owners and vendors are with mixed emotions, airing their grievances about the relocation of the vendors. It was said that they are to stay temporarily at areas near the road – from the BFP Bulanao Sub-station towards Silao Street just in front of the native pigs trading post.
“Mixed emotions – unget, buteng, aglusdoy da pay ah ta naibinsa-binsa met … nga ibaga-bagada nga adda iti relocation for the affected vendors, affected residents, adda iti relocation and all of a sudden ibaga da nga awanen iti relocation for the vendors, why? Apan ka kanu idiay igid iti kalsada,” she expressed.
As of this writing, there have been around 22 stalls demolished at the market.
Tabuk City Information Office says the demolition is not official but voluntary
In a separate interview on May 25 with Tabuk City Information Officer Aurora Amilig, she explained that there is no official start of demolition yet and that the dismantling that happened at the Bulanao Public Market was voluntarily done by the stall owners themselves to salvage their things.
Amilig also said that there was a request for POSO to go and help the owners dismantle their structures, citing that if the public sees some of the city personnel at the market, they are the ones sent in response to the request.
For the relocation of the vendors affected while the XRC mall and market are still being constructed, they will be staying at the side of the road outside the market compound.
She added that those who opted for residence can already move to the relocation site.
Amilig informed that some stall owners and vendors were recently brought to Ilagan and Tuguegarao City for benchmarking to see how the XRC mall and market are being operated and managed there.
“Kasi pagka ano lang tayo, kitkitaen tayo lang iti perspective ken plan haan ngay nga makita piman nu anya ba talaga iti ma-expect da,” she said.
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