Officials to probe Children’s Park fair opening-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Friday, February 1, 2013
BAGUIO City Government officials were surprised Friday upon discovering several market stalls were constructed inside the Children’s Playground within the Burnham Park complex.
Vice Mayor Daniel Fariñas said that according to the City Council, the setting up of the stalls was not even discussed or approved by the body, adding the councilors will take action and investigate the matter.
Fariñas and some members of the City Council visited the area after the opening parade Friday. The mayor said they will find out who allowed the mini trade fair inside the playground.
Councilor Philian Weygan-Allan said she was accompanied by Councilor Richard Cariño to look into the tents constructed inside the park.
Weygan–Allan said they are aware that a proposal for the stalls inside the Children’s Park is now pending before the Council, but said it is premature for organizers of the activity to allow the vendors to start selling their wares without any approval.
She said the City Government and the people of Baguio should make a statement that parks should not be the area for such activities.
Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda also said the site is also the same place intended for the children’s playhouse made out of recycled materials that will be constructed soon.
She earlier suggested before Mayor Mauricio Domogan for Baguio Blooms, formerly Market Encounter, to follow the specifications of the City Council that it should be a combination of a landscape and stalls, but these were not followed.
Councilor Elmer Datuin said proponents of the activity should be able to explain why they were not able to repackage themselves based on the council’s suggestion and, instead, the organizers continued with the same set-up just like last year.
The councilors asked Baguio Blooms to incorporate flowers and plants into the stalls of vendors.
The City Council also prohibits Divisoria-like products such as counterfeit shoes, clothes and other products that are still being sold inside the park.
The council decided last month to allow the Baguio Blooms to push through despite conflicting with the existing ordinance after Panagbenga overall chairman Mayor Domogan stressed the activity is synonymous to the event which started 17 years ago.
The mayor said the market encounter should still be allowed inside Burnham Park.
The City Council heeded this and agreed they will amend the Trade Fair Ordinance but cannot do it immediately due to time constraints in the legislative revision process.
However, when local reporters asked the mayor on his comment on the stalls constructed in the Children’s park, he said he is not aware of it and that he will task City Government employees to look into it.
The concessionaires were advised to voluntarily dismantle their stalls until late Friday and warned that stalls will be removed if traders ignore the advice of the Panagbenga executive commission.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 02, 2013.