Request for open market at Block 4 nixed

BAGUIO CITY – The Baguio City Market Authority (BCMA) turned down the request of some Block 4 vendors to conduct an open market at the area fronting their vending site on Dec. 29-31 in keeping with an existing policy disallowing such activities at the city market during holiday season.

In an emergency meeting called by Mayor Mauricio Domogan last Dec. 22, the BCMA members composed of market superintendent Policarpio Tamayo, COMPAC 1 chief P/Insp.

Romeo Galpo, public order and safety division head Paul Cambod and vendors’ association representative Nancy Alabanza voted unanimously to disapprove the request of the Block 4 vendors headed by Angelita Sowain and Sofia Villanueva.

Tamayo feared that granting such request would open the floodgates for more propositions from other groups.  “We will definitely be swamped by requests from other groups,” he said.

Galpo and Cambod raised public order and security concerns saying it will result to traffic and parking problems and increased criminal activities in the area.

Alabanza said she promised the vendors to ventilate their grievance before the body but just the same voted with the majority.

Domogan took note of the opinions which will form the BCMA resolution on the issue.

He said Resolution No. 19 series of 2013 of the BCMA prohibits the conduct of open markets and other similar activities along streets, roads and sidewalks during holiday season.

He agreed that allowing one group would prompt other associations to request their own open markets not only at the city market but also in other places like Lakandula St. and even at People’s Park.

POSD investigators said the vendors numbering 100 were mostly occupants of the less conspicuous areas of Block 4 who seek more profit before the season ends.

The city council last Dec. 19 agreed to endorse the request to the mayor for favorable action. – By Aileen P. Refuerzo

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