BAGUIO CITY – The City Engineering Office was tasked by Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan to conduct a re-measurement of the metes and bounds of buildings and sidewalks within the city’s central business district area to prevent the proliferation of sidewalk vendors and solidify the local government’s anti-peddling policy.
Domogan gave specific instruction to Engr. Leo C. Bernardez, Jr. to pursue the re-measurement of the metes and bounds of buildings and sidewalks along Mabini Street to prevent unscrupulous sidewalk vendors from reasoning out that they are allowed by building owners to lease a portion of their property to pursue their trade.
However, the local chief executive said it was uncovered that sidewalk vendors who are allegedly renting out spaces that are said to be within the private properties of building owners are only their alibi to justify their continued occupation of sidewalks for their trade.
Furthermore, Domogan pointed out that based on initial investigations conducted by concerned offices, sidewalk vendors peddling along Mabini Street are doing their trade along the sidewalks and not within the private properties of building owners.
“Building owners have no authority to lease the frontage of their structures that are not within their private properties but are considered to be part of the sidewalks of the city. We urge the sidewalk vendors who are said to be renting out their spaces to file the necessary charges against the building owners because they do not have the right to lease their frontages that are part of the city’s sidewalks,” Domogan stressed.
He said the city government will continue to dialogue with groups of sidewalk vendors that are being driven away by members of the Public Order and Safety Division (POSD) in order to make sure that they are doing their peddling within allowable areas of the city and not within sidewalks.
Domogan said the city will present to the sidewalk vendors the result of the re-measurement so that they will be guided on whether or not to negotiate with building owners who are legitimately occupying spaces and not to those illegally leasing their frontages that are part of the city’s sidewalk system.
The city mayor appealed to vendors to abide with the city’s anti-peddling policy to prevent them from being frequently apprehended doing business along prohibited areas, specifically sidewalks.
The clearing of the city’s sidewalks from ambulant vendors was one of the recommendations of the Baguio-Boracay Redevelopment Task Force to help the city regain its identity as one of the premier tourist destinations in the country.
He said despite the lobbying being done by some groups of vendors for them to be allowed to do sidewalk vending in some streets in the city for a certain period of time, the local government remains firm in sustaining the gains of its anti-peddling policy because it is for the greater good of local residents and visitors and that it has earned numerous citations not only from local residents but also tourists who had been frequenting the city over the past several years.
He lamented those using the issue on sidewalk vendors to advance their political ambitions, saying that it will be the people who will speak out.