GUAGUA -- There is no stopping Mayor Dante Torres from implementing the new rates for this town’s public market stalls despite the recent rally organized by vendors.
Torres said the new market rates are backed by an ordinance from the Municipal Council that he is duty bound to implement.
He said the new market rates, which have not been previously updated for 20 years since the time of former mayor Pat Magcalas, would bring in much needed revenue to rehabilitate and improve the public market.
“It would be unfair to the government and the people of the town if we do not implement the proper rates. We should not short change the Municipal Government,” Torres said.
Some 18 years after the last updating of public market stall rates, the Municipal Government of Guagua is set to impose new rates and weed out irregularities in the use of market stalls here.
Torres told SunStar Pampanga that he is set to implement the ordinance of the Municipal Government that aims to update market stall rates.
He added that for the past administrations, the collection of the public market rates has not been professionalized.
He said there are stalls that have been remiss in the payment of the proper rent, while others have used the stalls beyond their intended use.
Under the new rate system, the Municipal Government is expected to collect some P623,168 per month from the different stall categories inside the public market.
Torres said the updating is necessary to better improve the condition of the public market.
He said the Municipal Government should be given its due to enable it to implement programs like garbage collection and improvements.
Garbage collection in the town’s public market, the biggest public market in Pampanga, is almost at P1 million.
The Municipal Government discovered that only some 300 plus stalls have been paying their proper rent, while 59 stalls have been rented out as dwellings while others have been used as store houses, which is against the town’s policies and regulations in the use of market stalls.
The Municipal Government also discovered that stalls have been rented out by their original occupants to other vendors. The original occupants have been collecting payments for rents but have been paying only minimal fees to the Municipal Government.
Torres said while there are many stall owners that have been paying proper rents, it is high time to streamline the collection system and adjust the rents to their proper rates.