BEST PRACTICES CORNER: The Mandaluyong Market and Mall
Many years ago, August 25, 1990, when the Public Market of the City of Mandaluyong was gutted by fire, the city government had to construct a temporary market in one of the areas in the city to house the displaced market vendors. With an area that was then empty, the city government of Mandaluyong had to think on how that little area of land can be made into full use and bring revenues to the city.
I was lucky to be one of those employees trained by PRMDP-AusAID on the topic: Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT). At that time, Mandaluyong City had already a new market. One day, we were brought to this Market-Mall and no less than the City Administrator Atty. Santos explained to us how this Market-Mall came about. We had a nice tour of the more that 6 stories building. Later that day, we were ushered in to the Office of the City Mayor who was then Ben Hur Abalos. The Mayor and Atty. Santos had told us the struggles of the City of Mandaluyong to construct the Market, but soon realized how the concept of B.O.T. can help them achieve that.
From the rubbles of the old market, a new market was built. On its first level were both the Dry and Wet Section. I cannot fully remember which part, left side or right side, but the Meat Section and the Fish Section were separated. On the second level were stores or shall I say concessionaires and of course I remember there was Jollibee. Other fast food chains were also competing with the rest. The third floor was occupied by another set of business, etcetera and so on and so forth. At that time, the city government was ideating on making one of the upper floors as parking area.
Be that as it may, the City Government of Mandaluyong was able to make a decision that changes the landscape and business atmosphere of Mandaluyong. Who would think that the Market-Mall we were visiting at that time was a government owned property? The façade and character does not manifest it was. It looked like a Mall, per se.
So, here we are, the Success Story of how the City of Mandaluyong made this small land area and old market into a profitable asset that change not only the landscape of Mandaluyong but also its status as an LGU in the entire Philippines.
As a Bacolodnon, I hope that someday our city government officials can make a decision to change the Bacolod Central Market into something more useful, beautiful and a place that will attract people and business activities. Making it high rise like Mandaluyong’s Market-Mall? Why not?
For cities that experiences a decay in some areas of the urban center like the heart of the city, it is going to be a problem on how to revitalize it and bring back life and vitality to the once vibrant and booming business area of the city. Other people would call this experience a decay, slow death or whatever term that describes a dying interest of people to patronize business establishments or even to make the Bacolod Central Market as their destination.
If this happens, the dying section of the city will be revived and with its renewed image and vitality, the Central Market will once again regained its image as the Center of commerce and trade in the City of Smiles.