TWO pawnshops that are occupying stalls at the Iloilo City central public market but are paying rent to private persons have been given treatment by the market committee.
City Administrator Norlito Bautista, head of the market committee, said the Palawan Pawnshop, located along Iznart St. and is occupying stall number 50 under the name of original stallholder Simona Salazar, was given until end of July to vacate the stall since the area was not declared vacant anymore.
The Jaro Pawnshop, which is located along Aldeguer St. and is occupying stall number 15 under the name of original stallholder Rebecca Hernia, was given priority application since the area was declared vacant.
Bautista said the two pawnshops were paying a monthly rent of P10,000 each to their original stallholders, which only pay P2,000 rental to the city, in violation of an existing contract since it is only the City Government that has the power to sublease or rent out the stalls.
The market committee started validating the stallholders at the central market since last week amid protest of some vendors who feared their displacement at the market once the city starts the redevelopment and revitalization of the market.
Bautista said the contract between the stallholders and the city expires every five years and a city ordinance was enacted in 2009, providing a payment of goodwill money by awarded stallholders. The first payment of goodwill money ranging from P5,000 to P15,000 will start this year upon adjudication and awarding of stalls to the rightful owners.
The city administrator emphasized that the awarded stall is only a matter of privilege and stallholder must undergo a process of validation. If they ignored the validation and not to renew their contract, then it means the original stallholders are not anymore interested in their stalls.
The market committee will have to recommend for the declaration of these stalls as vacant and award it to other interested persons, Bautista said. (Lydia C. Pendon)