Councilors puzzled over ‘Market Encounter’-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Thursday, January 17, 2013
COUNCILORS admitted they have to amend the existing Trade Fair ordinance if only to allow the conduct of Market Encounter activities inside Burnham Park.
The ordinance bans the conduct of trade fair activities inside public places such as parks.
During Monday’s regular session, Panagbenga organizers, led by its executive committee co-chairman Anthony De Leon, asked the City Council to allow the Market Encounter stressing it has been an integral activity from the beginning of the festival born 18 years ago.
De Leon added the Market Encounter has been instrumental in the growth of the festival as well as in helping showcase local products from other provinces and provides livelihood to the people.
Allowing the Market Encounter, some councilors said, would set a bad precedent as it will signify the city is tolerating trade fairs inside parks such as Burnham.
Other councilors, meanwhile, suggested for the Market Encounter to be an institutionalized activity of the city.
While majority would allow activities such as the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio-organized Session Road in Bloom, which has blossomed in the past years with concerts and world-class gastronomic offerings, several councilors were left criticizing the Market Encounter for showcasing some counterfeit products like eye wears and shoes and others items found in places such as Divisoria.
But councilors agreed they will have to amend the existing Trade Fair ordinance, which will probably take several sessions and might not make it in time for the Panagbenga Festival opening.
This after a session presided by Mayor Mauricio Domogan with Panagbenga organizers and city aldermen to finally find solutions to the ordinance prohibition.
Domogan said he is in favor of having the Market Encounter since this is already synonymous with the festival.
But councilors deferred any action on the matter pending the amendment of the Trade Fair Ordinance but this, of course, does not bar Domogan from allowing the activity to continue next month.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 17, 2013.