DUMAGUETE CITY – A multi-million peso modern public market is now fully operational in Dauin, Negros Oriental, with amenities like free Wi-Fi is seen to bolster the town’s booming tourism industry.
On Thursday, Dauin Mayor Galicano Truita led the opening of the two-story market that boasts of a hotel, an elevator, free Wi-Fi, commercial offices, security cameras, power generators and several stalls for the wet and dry sections.
“The cost of the public market which was constructed over the past four years or so is pegged at around PHP180 million, with PHP85 million coming from the office of Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go,” Truita said.
The local government unit (LGU) also contributed to the project with funds coming from its coffers and loans, he added.
In 2015, a fire razed the whole public market area of Dauin.
Truita is optimistic that the LGU will see an early return on investments from the mega market as all of the more than 100 stalls have been taken.
Some renters bid as much as PHP100,000 for a stall unit, he said.
“We were able to earn an income of about PHP2 million from the bidding alone,” he added.
He estimates an income of at least PHP10 million in a year, drawn not only from residents but from tourists as well.
A Free Wi-Fi Switch-on Ceremony highlighted the opening of the public market, the first of its kind in Negros Oriental and Central Visayas.
The project is a collaboration of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NOCCI), the Energy Development Corporation (EDC), the Dauin LGU, and some private donors.
NOCCI president Edward Du said the free Wi-Fi at the Dauin mega market would hopefully be replicated by other towns and cities in Negros Oriental.
Du said providing free Wi-Fi at the Dauin market was easy because of an existing tower in the town, and that will attract tourists while also allowing vendors to go digital.
“We are looking at introducing soon the QR Code system so that transactions will be faster and more convenient as this is now the way to go,” he said.
NOCCI has been instrumental in putting up and facilitating free Wi-Fi in at least 36 remote schools in the province, as well as barangay halls such as those in Valencia town, and now the Dauin market, while another one in the making is at Lake Balinsasayao in Sibulan.
DICT Central Visayas Regional Director Frederick Amores lauded the initiative, highlighting the importance of government and private sector collaboration to make projects similar to this a reality.
DICT Secretary Ivan John E. Uy, in his virtual message, lauded this collaboration between government and private entities in providing digital technology to the people that would accelerate economic progress.
“May the private sector continue to respond to the needs and challenges of your constituents through their Corporate Social Responsibility”, he said.
He thanked the prime movers of this project for “your support to the agency’s mandate to help Filipinos towards national digital development,” he added.