Manokan country tenants given 30 days to leave

Manokan Country, a row of restaurants selling grilled foods, especially the famous Bacolod chicken inasal, situated on city-owned property in Barangay 12, across from SM City Bacolod. (Photo courtesy of Atty. Caesar Distrito Facebook)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD CITY – Twenty-six tenants of Manokan Country have been given 30 days to vacate the area in Barangay 12.

City Legal Officer Romeo Carlos Ting Jr. said the tenants have until July 5 to vacate, as they have already been served notice.

In a Monday press briefing, Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez said these tenants will be transferred to a temporary space provided by SM Prime Holdings Inc. (SMPHI) at the parking area of SM City Bacolod, just across Manokan Country.

Benitez mentioned that the tenants had sent him a letter with demands, such as providing them a place to set up their stalls, as the temporary spaces are small. He noted that the tenants should have mentioned these concerns during previous discussions, before SM constructed the temporary spaces.

“Everything seemed okay, and suddenly, they send a letter with demands. After so many discussions with them, this is enough,” the mayor said.

The city has given the tenants a one-week extension through the appeal of Councilor Celia Flor, chairperson of the Committee on Markets, and an additional day which lapsed on June 3 to prepare to vacate the area.

“Within 30 days, they have to vacate. No more discussion,” Benitez added.

The mayor said the city will conduct proper bidding based on the process for awarding the stalls, ensuring that those awarded will get a space once the new Manokan Country is completed.

Meanwhile, Ting said tenants who have settled their arrears with the city will be recommended for a space in the new Manokan Country.

Manokan Country, established in the 1990s, is a row of restaurants known for selling grilled foods, especially the famous Bacolod chicken inasal.

In October last year, SM Prime Holdings Inc. and the city government signed a 40-year lease agreement for the redevelopment of the iconic Manokan Country, situated on city-owned property in the Reclamation Area.

Benitez said SM Prime Holdings is committed to investing P4 billion in the project, which will create more jobs in the city and is tentatively set to operate by 2025.

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