Stricter implementation of tax, market, investment laws

BAGUIO CITY – The Baguio City Market Authority (BCMA) agreed on the strict enforcement of the market, tax and investment code and other city ordinances to instill discipline and order within the public market.

The BCMA met last week with Mayor Mauricio Domogan and Council committee chair on Market, Trade and Commerce Elaine Sembrano to thresh out market concerns.

Among these are supervised visits to verify alleged extensions in market stalls; continued operation of illegal stalls; and conversion of spaces without permission from market authorities.

According to the mayor, private establishments within the market area, which are being leased out will undergo thorough investigation. Said stalls should comply with the zoning code, as some are reported dealing with food products in a dry goods section.

Other stalls are reportedly merged, or divided into several smaller sections and subleased. The mayor pointed out that if confirmed, these could be deemed closed and bidded out to interested and qualified individuals.

Passageways for marketgoers should be clear and free from goods, it was reminded.

Inspection and investigation was also set for businessmen applying for additional line of business, and conversion of area to a different use; particularly at the Slaughterhouse area. Mayor Domogan reiterated that without basic living utilities, the place could not be converted into a residential area as requested.

Market stalls bidded out last year should now be occupied by rightful leases, the mayor further said.

As to date, 18 vendor-applicants for transfer of leasehold rights have been approved; with 10 of them denied. The 18 have satisfactorily complied with all the requirements, it was known.

A covered walkway for market blocks 3 and 4 is planned for the convenience of marketgoers.

An extension of the Harrison night market at the Ganza parking lot and Melvin Jones is also envisioned.

By Julie G. Fianza

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