Night market faces glitches

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Friday, March 28, 2014


CITY Councilor Peter Fianza recently cited possible hindrances to the institutionalization of Baguio night market activities.

Fianza said while he supports the night market activities in the city, which he said has improved livelihood of vendors as well give another attraction in the city especially during the tourism peak seasons, there are still legal impediments barring its permanence.

He, however, stressed that while he is not against the institutionalization of night market activities legal impediments must first be addressed.

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“There are issues that have to be resolved as far as I’m concerned. I have noted two particular cases which in my interpretation will not allow the use of that area for use as night market,” Fianza said.

The stretch of Harrison Road, a national road, he said belongs to no one in particular if past Supreme Court rulings are to be followed.

“It belongs to all and in no one in particular. So if I am given the right to make use of it I should not also deprive others for making use of it. In short, if we allow that for night market activities, then we are also depriving others from making use of it kasi sila na lang,” he said.

In one particular SC decision, he said the responsible officer which made use of a national road for similar activities was made liable under anti-graft law.

After seeing these possible future concerns, he added, the cases and observations were forwarded by his office to the City Legal Office for an opinion and study whether these cases apply to the city’s night market activities.

Another issue raised by the councilor is that the City Council, which was encouraged by executive department to come up with an ordinance making the night market permanent “should also implement the law and not act as law breakers.”

He said in the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Sanitation Code of the Philippines there is a provision saying the sale of second-hand and used clothing is a nuisance which means creation of an ordinance contrary to this national law must also be addressed.

He also added the national road such as Harrison Road is also under the control of the Department of Public Works and Highways. While it is true the city government has control over roads in its jurisdiction, an agreement with DPWH District Engineering Office must also take place, he added.

He further stressed the night market activities was initially conducted to address the city’s problem on growing number of ambulant vendors.
But later on, he said, the number of vendors actually increased instead of the number of vendors being contained.

“What happens now, that it becoming an attraction and that everybody seems to like it, that contrary to its original purpose, it eventually added more vendors instead of the city actually containing the number or providing them other means of livelihood,” he said.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 29, 2014.

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