DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 17 Feb) — The P10-million Asian Fruit Market, set up last year to boost Davao City’s bid “as the home of the biggest fruit market in Asia in 10 years” will be dismantled and its structures moved to the old Sta. Ana wharf as a food park, souvenir shop and waiting area for tourists bound for the islands.
Currently located outside Abreeza Mall Davao, the structures will be moved to Sta. Ana Wharf before the Kadayawan celebration in August 2018, said City Tourism Office head Generose Tecson.
She said they are just waiting for the PhP 400,000 budget from the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) for the dismantling and P1.4 million for the reinstallation, which would include cost of cementing the ground where it would be put up.
What used to be the Asian Fruit Market’s area was 1,538 square meters with five stalls (7.5 sqms.), 10 Vinta units (15 sqms.), three small tents (25 sqms.), and one big tent (192 sqms.) for selling agricultural products and dining.
The fruit market had 26 occupants when it opened on June 25, 2017 selling fruits, herbs, and ornamental plants but ended up with no occupant months later.
A TIEZA-funded project, it was opened supposedly to position Davao as home of the biggest fruit market in Asia in 10 years, showcasing “Mindanao’s abundance in high value fruits, commercial crops, root crops, vegetables and products.”
Tourism assistant secretary Eden Josephine David told MindaNews on Friday that the project was turned over to the city government upon request that it be moved to Sta. Ana Wharf as part of its effort to develop the area.
Waiting area, too
At the wharf, the structures from the former fruit marker will take on another purpose as a waiting area for those who want to go island hopping and visit other tourist destinations and where Dabawenyos can buy food and shop for souvenir items, Tecson said.
“We want to see it as a place not only our visitors can go to but where Dabawenyos can go to also,” she said.
Tecson said the place will not be perfect once it is set up because the city has yet to address the flooding issues but “still at least there’s somewhere for us to go to aside from the rest of the city.”
She said comfort rooms and quarters for police are being constructed at the wharf.
The Task Force Davao headquarters is also located at the wharf.
The city has been making progress in developing the decades-old Sta. Ana wharf as a jump-off area for tourists.
Last year, the city government cleared the wharf of debris and filled the center portion with soil that served as parking space for vehicles of the visitors going on island tours. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)