Only 214 of 347 active at Agdao Public Market

Only 214 of 347 active at Agdao Public Market
Ramcez Villegas/SunStar File Photo

A DAVAO City councilor said that out of the 347 market awardees, only 214 vendors are currently active at the Agdao Public Market.

Councilor Augusto Javier “Javi” G. Campos III said in his privilege speech during the session of the 20th City Council on Tuesday morning, May 21, 2024, at the Sangguniang Panlungsod that the remaining 124 have partially opened stalls or have given up entirely due to declining sales.

“This is quite alarming because this is not just an issue of promotion or lack of advertising of the Agdao Public Market. There are real issues that are affecting our enterprise, and we cannot allow this to continue,” he said

Campos, also the chair of the committee on international relations, reported on their visit to the market, where they identified several concerns voiced by vendors. He highlighted the persistent issue of low income, exacerbated by what vendors perceive as an unwelcoming atmosphere.

Additionally, Campos addressed two major factors contributing to vendors' challenges: the high rental fees stipulated in the 2017 revenue code and competition from peddlers outside the market. Despite efforts to raise these concerns with the Ancillary Services Unit (ASU) and the barangay captain of Agdao Proper, external competitors continue to undermine vendors' opportunities within the market.

Other grievances include hazardous conditions within the market, such as slippery floors posing risks to customers, and the presence of a non-functional calculator obstructing space. 

Vendors have proposed repurposing the area for improved accessibility. 

Lastly, the market's disorganized layout contributes to low sales, prompting calls for a restructured layout to enhance business prospects.

Campos underscored the urgency of addressing these issues, highlighting the six months of hardship endured by vendors hoping for improved income. He emphasized the need for manageable rental fees aligned with vendors' income, reflecting the government's commitment to support them. 

Although a resolution permitting vendors to sell downstairs was passed, vendors seek a more sustainable solution.

Campos requested that his speech be considered for further discussion by relevant committees, which the council granted. 

Notably, Ligaya D. Uba, president of the dry goods section and other vendors, petitioned for temporary relocation to the vegetable and fruit section during market construction.

In response, market supervisor Gerardo Castillo explained in a radio interview that rental fees comply with the city's Revenue Code, with slight adjustments due to ongoing renovations. 

Awardees are permitted to sell goods on the ground floor during specified hours (from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.), accommodating both vendors and ongoing renovations. RGP

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