San Juan’s Agora Market renovation to start later this month

San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora unveiled on Thursday (July 9) the proposed new layout for the rehabilitation of Agora Market.

On July 2, Zamora said the local government plans to renovate the city’s lone public market following its temporary closure after a market worker was found positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

On his official Facebook page, Zamora shared the proposed display counter design and layout of the stalls inside the public market.

“Ito po ang perspective ng ating magiging bagong Agora Market. Gagawin po natin itong moderno, malinis, maliwanag, maaliwalas, at maayos na public market para sa inyong lahat, pati na din para sa ating mga vendors (This is the perspective of our new Agora Market. We will make this a modern, clean, well-lighted, airy, and organized public market for all of you as well as for our vendors),” Zamora said.

The redesigned stalls will feature stainless steel display counters, a new drainage system and lighting fixtures, as well as suspended steel framing for the stalls’ signages.

In a statement on Wednesday, the San Juan City government said Agora Market will be put under a 250-day renovation starting later this month.

The renovation will be executed in six phases, with stalls and vendors affected by the construction in each phase to be allowed to set up shop at temporary market stalls in the adjacent plaza. 

In an interview, the mayor said the market rehabilitation plan was put on hold following the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

San Juan City emerged as one of the COVID-19 “hotspots” in the country during the early days of the outbreak.

“We will fix this entire market. Ire-rehabilitate ito. Baka ito na talaga ‘yung panahon para simulan ito (It will be rehabilitated. This may be the time to start it),” the mayor told reporters last week.

“Para pag na-rehabilitate na natin ito, pasok na pasok na ito doon sa new normal guidelines (So, once it’s rehabilitated, it will be in compliance with the new normal guidelines),” he added.

On Wednesday, Zamora ordered the extension of the market’s closure until July 15 after 23 of the 614 swab tests conducted on vendors and workers of the market turned out positive for COVID-19.

The local government said all of those who tested positive are asymptomatic, and are now in isolation and being provided with medical attention. Their close contacts have also been tested and are in quarantine.

The local government said vendors will be allowed back to the public market on July 16.