BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan vehemently denied allegations of food stall vendors in the night market that the local government is not helping them retain their busineses in the area, saying that the Baguio city Market Authority (BCMA) has offered the Ganza parking area where the food stalls will be situated if the vendors will agree to such arrangement.
The local chief executive said that cooking, which includes re-heating, of food is strictly prohibited under the Sanitation Code of the Philippines that is why the City Health Office recommended for the eventual stoppage of such activities in the night market area that resulted to the banning of cooking and selling of food in the nightly activity.
“We are flexing our muscles to find the appropriate solution to the problem of our food vendors doing business in the night market. It is not true that we are not helping the vendors but what is clear to us is we are doing everything to help them, provided that, it will be pursuant to existing ordinances,” Domogan stressed.
He explained that the Ganza parking area is the best space for the night market vendors selling food because it has abundant supply of water and an area where they can put up their dirty kitchen and wash their dishes, among others.
Earlier, the food vendors in the night market were ordered to stop selling food in the area after the City Health Office recommended the stoppage of the said activity considering that cooking and selling of food along roads is prohibited pursuant to the Sanitation Code of the Philippines.
According to him, the required P25 million for the concreting of the perimeter of the Melvin Jones football field was already included in the annual budget of the city next year with the hope that the improvement of the Ganza parking area to accommodate the needs of the food vendors will be part of the project so that the food vendors can continue their businesses without fear of again being removed from the place.
He called on the affected food vendors in the night market to get their acts together to decide whether or not to agree to the proposed alternative of the city.
The city official underscored that the night market is a major tourist attraction in the city, a source of income for the local government without huge investment for infrastructure and a sustainable source of livelihood for the vendors who are doing their trade along the 500-meter stretch of Harrison road that is why the local government is always sensitive on the needs of the vendors without sacrificing the interest of the greater majority of the populace.
He said his decisions must be based on facts and existing rules and regulations and not for political purposes because he wants that the interest of the people of the city is the one that must be upheld and protected over and above personal and political interests.
By Dexter A. See