Thursday , April 26, 2018

Baguio mayor stands firm on night market expansion

BAGUIO City Mayor Mauricio Domogan is standing firm on his decision to expand the night market to Perfecto Street.

Domogan said the expansion will cater to walk in vendors, who have been waiting for slots in the Harrison road stretch in vain for years, despite the appeals to stop expansion to keep profits within reach.

The Night Market Association feared a decrease in sales to over 1,000 per vendors along the stretch of Harrison road daily if expansion will pursue.

“The increased number of vendors, from 500 to 1,068 declined our sales which became our biggest difficulty especially during lean season. To us, BCMA do not understand our dilemma,” said the petition letter by the 18 block leaders to the Baguio City Market Authority (BCMA).

The BCMA has approved the expansion of the night market to Perfecto Street as well as the frontage of the Igorot Park to accommodate loyal walk–in’s, who have done business with the city for years.

There are about 70 loyal walk in vendors whom the BCMA would like to accommodate in the night market, something that cannot be done in the present situation with vendors occupying the assigned stall spaces.

Aside from the expansion, the BCMA has now banned cooking at the entire stretch of the night market citing violations on cleanliness and sanitation.

Domogan said the food section of the night market is riddled with violations and until requirements are reached and rules are set in stone, there will be no backtracking of the ban on cooking.

Association leaders said the walk in vendors can be accommodated in the Harrison road area, adjusting spaces given, saying the opening of Perfecto Street will only be a precursor for more vendors to come in, further dividing profit for vendors.

“It is inevitable that if it will push through, request for more additional slots in other streets will not end because there is no BCMA policy to limit the vending slots in the night marker. More vendors will mean more security problems to the Baguio police force,” added the letter.

“For walk-in vendors clamoring to have permanent slots, we believe there is faster turn-over because of the stringent policy that failure to vend for two consecutive weeks, unpaid vending slots are awarded to walk-in vendors. And since the implementation of the BCMA resolution on the rules and regulations from the night market activity on August 2016 almost one half of the registered walk-in vendors were already given a slots,” the letter continued.

“The city is earning about P1.5 million monthly whether vendors earn or not. Is that not enough city revenue from the night market?”

Instead of the expansion, the group urged BCMA to focus on improving the night market.

“Add more lighting, widen the vending slots, widen the isles for customers and help us secure uniformed foldable tents during rainy season so that the night market is not an eye sore,” added the petition.