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Agora Market vendors relocated 

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Mayor Francis Zamora led the opening of the temporary relocation site at the San Juan Plaza earlier today, July 29, for vendors affected by the Agora Market renovation.

In his opening speech, Mayor Zamora addressed the vendors and said, “’Pag tapos na ang lahat ng ito, magugulat kayo na ang palengke na nakasanayan nating medyo luma na talaga, medyo madumi, medyo madilim, ay magiging makabago, moderno, maganda, malinis at maaliwalas na. Walang ni piso na babayaran ang ating mga vendors para sa renovation nito. Sigurado ako 100% matutuwa ang ating mga mamimili pati na ang ating mga vendors.”

The temporary market site will have 98 stalls with tents and tables, installed with water and electricity to accommodate the affected vendors of the phase-by-phase renovation of the market.

“Sa Makabagong San Juan, mararanasan ninyo ang isang tunay na public market at ‘yan po ay magsisimula ngayon. By May 2021, kumpleto na ang renovation ng buong palengke natin,” he added.

The Agora Market is currently undergoing total renovation to modernize its facilities, improve ventilation, install better water lines and lighting fixtures, provide hygienic counters to the stalls, and replace the old flooring. The total renovation is being done in six (6) phases with an estimated 30 to 40 days per phase. The seafood, poultry, meat, vegetable and fruit section will all have their turn at being relocated to the Plaza and will return to their respective areas once their section has been renovated. The last phase is the rehabilitation of the parking area, public toilets, Market Office and the Materials Recovery Facility.

According to Mayor Zamora, the renovated market will adapt to the new normal. During the interview, he said, “Hindi na ‘to masyadong dikit-dikit. Ngayong panahon ng COVID, kinakailangan mag-adjust tayo. Yung bagong disenyo ng ating palengke ay adaptable na sa new normal.”

On July 1, the market was closed for 15 days after a fish stall helper tested positive for COVID-19. All the other vendors, helpers and workers in the said market were then swabbed at the Palacio de Maynila Mega Swabbing Facility and placed in quarantine. Twenty six (26) turned out positive and were immediately isolated.

The market reopened on July 16 after thorough cleanup and disinfection were conducted in the area.

All the 647 vendors, helpers and workers in Agora Market are back with Health Clearances issued by the City Health Office. All 27 who tested positive have already recovered and have completed their prescribed quarantine period.

Mayor Zamora ordered the further ramping up of efforts in the city to combat COVID-19 through a multi-pronged approach. Social and medical services were beefed up to go hand in hand with stricter implementation of health and safety protocols, enhanced contact tracing and aggressive mass testing. The implementation of zoning protocols is also being done to areas with clusters of infections.

In fact, during the last Zoom meeting with Metro Manila Mayors and the IATF, Contact Tracing czar Mayor Benjie Magalong said that San Juan is contact tracing and testing more than its quota based on data.

Mayor Zamora also mentioned the city’s partnership with the national government in beating COVID-19. “Ang national government ay naghandog ng hotel para sa San Juan asymptomatic at positive patients. Dito po ililipat ang 100 positive patients ng San Juan. National government po magbabayad nito. Wala pong babayaran ang mga pasyente. Hinihikayat po namin ang positive patients ng San Juan lalong-lao na kung asymptomatic at mild lang ang symptoms, lumipat po tayo sa ating LGU COVID-19 facilities para sa hotel na sagot ng national government.“

San Juan City recently lifted the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in three (3) of its streets and placed them back to General Community Quarantine after completing the strict 15-day quarantine period.

Mayor Zamora ordered strict ECQ implementation in J. Eustaquio Street in Barangay Progreso, C. Santos Street in Barangay Balong Bato, and J. Dela Cruz Street in Barangay Salapan after clusters of COVID-19 infections were reported in the said areas. The two streets in Barangays Progreso and Balong Bato were placed under ECQ on July 7 while that of Barangay Salapan got its strict quarantine order on July 9.

Of the 21 cases reported in J. Eustaquio, 20 already recovered, while 1 died due to complications caused by the virus. ECQ in the said street ended on July 22.

In C. Santos, ECQ lasted until July 22 as well. All the 18 confirmed cases already recovered.

Another street, J. Dela Cruz in Barangay Salapan where 15 cases were confirmed, 10 already recovered while 5 are recovering at Kalinga Center. ECQ in the area ended on July 24.

All 3 streets are now open and under GCQ.

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