BAGUIO CITY – The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading a proposed ordinance regulating the setting up of new sari-sari stores, talipapas and satellite markets in the city after the implementation of the Luzonwide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
The council stated that the new businesses set up during the ECQ due to the Corona Virus Disease (COVID) 2019 that will be affected by the proposed measure include those along roads, highways, abandoned buildings, open spaces or any other location selling goods and rendering office services without mayor’s permit or business license.
Further, the establishments included to be further regulated include the talipapa-like stores usually open the whole day, as well as the ambulant vendors, like business that are operated for a short period during the day, or the food stall-like business that are operated during the night or day.
The council disclosed owners and employees of unregistered or unpermitted businesses shall immediately terminate operation and will not be allowed to operate any new business in the city until after 6 months of the closure of his or her unregistered, unlicensed or unpermitted business operation.
Under the proposed ordinance, the new business shall pay the necessary fees and taxes based on existing tax measures or any new measures that shall be instituted by the city government.
According to the council, the new business shall comply with all regulations governing workers compensation and benefits.
The council asserted any line of business like a sari-sari store, vegetable and fruits, cooked food, processed food, dried goods, grocery items, food stalls, shall be applied for with the proper clearance for environment, sanitation and health.
However, the City Council cited that gambling in any form shall not be allowed in any of the new business to be established in the city after the ECQ.
The council said that the implementation of the measure shall be done through the monitoring efforts of the barangay officials, the City Permits and Licensing Division, the City Monitoring Board or any other existing or to be instituted body or department tasked with the same function.
City legislators claimed the identification of the existence of unregistered, unpermitted and unlicensed businesses shall be in a written report of any of the implementing body or department that shall include a description, name of owner or employer or manager of the business, location and the date monitored.
The ordinance tasked the City Mayor or the Baguio city Market Authority (BCMA) with the assistance of the city peacekeeping force to close the existing business upon the submitted monitoring report from those who were earlier assigned to conduct the required monitoring of unregistered, unpermitted and unlicensed businesses in the different parts of the city.
Tax ordinance No. 2000-001 guides the opening and conduct of businesses in the city through the provision of a mayor’s permit issued by the city government.
By Dexter A. See