The Department of Budget and Management has approved the request of Mayor Evelio Leonardia for P150-million financial assistance to fund the improvement and rehabilitation of the three major public markets of the city.
No less than Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado informed Leonardia that the request for financial assistance has been approved, a press release from the city said.
The P150-million budget will be divided equally for the development of the Libertad Market, Burgos Market, and Central Market. Each will be allocated P50 million.
“The good news is that, by far, this is the biggest single Local Government Support Fund we have ever received,” Leonardia said.
Before the request was approved, a series of consultations was conducted with the officers of market vendors’ associations.
The City Engineer’s Office also consulted the market vendors and officers during the preparation of the projects’ Program of Works.
“This 150-million assistance will be a substantial investment in our three major markets to counter the unprecedented devastating health and economic consequences or impact of Covid-19,” Leonardia added.
He also said the primary purposes of the project are, among others, to meet sanitation standards, protect public health and restore economic prosperity.
“As part of our economic recovery program, this will give us a positive trajectory of our economic outlook…Our march to recovery will always be a team effort,” he added.
Leonardia also thanked Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran and the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Bacolod for “their prompt action in endorsing the project to the DBM.”
Meanwhile, assistant city administrator Allyn Luv Zamora-Dignadice said the DBM’s approval of the budget request is a “welcome development.”
“We are happy to hear the good news that the DBM had finally approved our request for financial assistance of P150 million. This project is one of the priority programs of the City,” she said.
Dignadice said the fact that this project would receive the biggest single LGSF from the DBM only “shows the full trust of the national agency in the good governance and leadership of Mayor Bing.”
“From the start, Mayor Bing, together with the rest of the city officials and officers of different market vendors associations, work hand in hand in finalizing their plans and programs. Our market vendors actively participated in determining areas of priority for the markets’ improvement and rehabilitation,” Dignadice said.
Now that the project is sure to be funded, Dignadice said the City can expect more consumers to patronize the local public markets.
“While this means more sales or income to our vendors or awardees, in the end, it will eventually help boost our local economy,” she added.*