Vendors of Quinta Market watched helplessly on Monday as a demolition team tore down Manila’s premier public market located just a few steps from Quiapo Church.
The Manila City government pushed through with the demolition on Monday to give way to the market’s renovation.
Mayor Joseph Estrada visited the market in the morning to check how the demolition was going on.
More than 200 vendors were allowed to occupy orange tents, which will be their temporary stalls while the P90-million new Quinta Market is being built.
The Estrada administration wants to modernize the market as well as the rest of the 16 public markets in the city.
Joey Delada, Quinta Market Master, said the demolition may be finished today.
Mercy Latina Cando Bernardo, a fish vendor for more than 40 years, was one of those who resisted the demolition.
But she had no choice but to occupy the tent given to her.
“I have four children who are still in school. I am the sole breadwinner. My husband is jobless, how can we survive now when we have a very small stall?” Bernardo said.
Carmen Makabindil, a seafood vendor, said she had been selling in the market for 20 years.
“I was not able to display my stuff. Maybe tomorrow we will start. My loyal customers will have a hard time to locate me,” she added.
Nimfa Marcelino, a coconut vendor for 35 years, said she may no longer get a stall once the renovation is completed.
“I fear we cannot afford the goodwill money,” she told The Manila Times.
William Magno, manager of Quinta Market Cooperative and vendor for 30 years, said the vendors will have no representation in the new administration.
The market management will have five board members, three from the developer and two from city hall.
The vendors tried to stop the demolition but their petition for a temporary restraining order (TRO) was not granted by a Manila court.
Magno said the developer was given 25 years to manage the market.
“We are not against modernization but we are not assured that we will be given stalls once the renovation is finished. We are not also assured if the rental will be within our means,” he added.