BAGUIO

Weygan-Allan: Maybe there is hope for displaced roving vendors

Sangal Di Kultura

AMBULANT and roving vendors have been welcomed in the earlier days when transportation was not as frequent and easy as before. In the 1970s, ambulant vending came as far as our home in Happy Homes, Old Lucban.

However, through the years when our neighboring provinces like La Union and Pangasinan have banned roving vendors and dismantled the sidewalk vendors, many have moved to Baguio.

This has increased social and structural concerns of Baguio. The market ordinance requires that business people must be Baguio residents, thus this increased over crowding of boarding houses and apartments, it has also increased the issues of illegal structures. The garbage has increased in volume, the water resources and supply has been of greater demand. There is increased demand for services because there is also increasing volume of underground economy including the ambulant roving vendors.

Through the years, the ambulant vendors have increased. However, during a consultation with roving vendors by our market committee, the Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, the different City departments including the City Treasurer, one of the resolutions in the July 2019 was that the mayor will no longer issue new special permit for roving vendors, he will limit it to the existing permitted roving vendors.

I have proposed and it was approved that any special permit will no longer be recommended by the City Council through my office has been the practice in the past. This was agreed with the roving vendors, not knowing that of the over 400 attendees, there were at least 230 were selling as roving vendors in the past without any special permit.

Because of that there were at least 230 who were displaced for not processing their special permits. It is true that they were “pasaway” selling without getting any special permit, while they are also selling together with those who have special permits.

This has resulted in a proposed project entitled “Alternative Micro Enterprise Program for Displaced Roving Vendors” which was signed by Magalong and myself that will be implemented with partners to support the displaced vendors.

Similarly, the City Council passed Resolution No. 457 series of 2019 confirmingthe program. This led to a series of seminar workshopsequipping the vendorsto register and develop their business plan.

Simultaneously, they undertook skills training in partnership with the Office of the Congressman Mark Go, Department of Agriculture, Department of Labor and Employment, and the Department of Trade and Industry.

As of this writing there are 10 registered and two unregistered vendors associations undertaking a Project Proposal writing seminar where they will submit project proposal for government assistance through various agencies.

The seminar was conducted January 12 and 13 where 75 persons per day undertook the training.

This also yielded the organization’s project plan and a draft of the project proposal. Those who joined me as resource persons that included Marlene B. De Castro, Ms. Marlene W. Baluyut of BSBT College, PD Samuel A. Gallardo and Layla Corro of DTI; Maria Koniko Donato and Gemma of DOLE-CAR. Arch Donna R. Tabangin of the City Planning Office. This was facilitated by the City Council Staff led by Sally De Guzman and Jonalyn Pagada.

The vendor organization included Upper Lualhati Vendors Association, Wright Park vendors Association, Everlasting Group, Burnham Kisad Legarda Fruit Vendor Association; Burnham Park Souvenir and Pasalubong, Burnham Park Fruit Vendors; Mabini Session Fruit Vendors, Palma Otek Kisad Fruit vendors, Burnham Legarda Fruit Vendors; Sunflower Association; and St Joseph Vendors Association.

Magalong was the keynote speaker during the closing program last January 13, 20121 in the Hotel Veniz-Session where he distributed certificates, inducted the officers and rendered an update on the Covid-19 response of the city.

A group desire to be the top distributor of locally produced coffee, rice and other products. Some want to do pasalubong and snacks.


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