BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance approving the conduct of night market at the vicinity of 1st, 2nd and 3rd Kayang Streets within the jurisdiction of the city public market to provide sources of livelihood for the increasing number of vendors involved in the said trade.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated that the area along 1st, 2nd and 3rd Kayang Streets will be utilized as a site of the proposed night market from 9 pm to 3 am daily to provide sustainable sources of livelihood for the increasing number of vendors wanting to engage in the nightly activity, a major tourist attraction, especially along Harrison road.
The ordinance stipulated that all the present night market vendors, including walk ins, shall be accommodated at the proposed site of the nightly activity to help free Harrison road from the monstrous vehicular and pedestrian traffic congestions during the night market along the 500-meter stretch of the main city road.
Yangot explained that should there be available slots, the applications to fill up the available slots shall be opened to qualified applicants on a first come, first served basis, but if the number of applicants will be more, the allocations should be decided through draw lots.
The ordinance added the Baguio City Market Authority (BCMA) will be tasked to facilitate the process to ensure fairness in the allocation of spaces to interested night market vendors wanting to earn income.
The proponent admitted the conduct of the night market along Harrison road has become a tourism come on, a revenue generating enterprise with the least infrastructure component and livelihood and employment provider for many of the city’s local micro-scale business people since 2006.
The night market was borne by virtue of Administrative Order No. 203, series of 2006 which continues to operate to date from 9 pm to 2 am daily, rain or shine.
Currently, the night market provides livelihood and employment to more than 1,068 vendors translating to more or less P1.5 million income to the local government representing collected regulatory fees for the said nightly activity.
Yangot explained several attempts were made to rationalize the operation of the night market along Harrison road but the same were in vain because the roadline is a national road under the supervision and control of the public works department.
On the other hand, the use of the perimeter of the Melvin Jones football ground is being proposed for the relocation of the night market activity but it is being opposed by concerned park conservationists, thus, it is imperative for the local government to identify a more suitable site for the said activity.
Yangot admitted at the moment, the night market continues to be on an experimental basis and upon tolerance by the public works department, and upon consultation with stakeholders, portions of the city public market, particularly the area along 1st, 2nd and 3rd Kayang streets had been identified as a more permanent site for the night market operation considering it is city owned and will not in any way affect traffic flow as it is a dead area at night compared to the Harrison road, a busy national road even at night. By Dexter A. See