BAGUIO CITY – The local government decided to relocate the booming night market operation from its present site along a 500-meter stretch of Harrison road to the Jose Abad Santos Drive, popularly known as the Burnham Lake Drive, to free one of the city’s main roads from being closed every night to pave the way for the said nighty activity.
Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong admitted that the concrete portion of the Baguio Athletic Bowl which was earlier eyed as the relocation site for the night market operation can only accommodate some 544 vendors as per the survey conducted by the City Engineering Office (CEO) compared to the 1,044 vendors actively participating in the night market operations that is why one of the best sites to transfer the night market operation is the Burnham Lake Drive that is adjacent to Harrison Road.
Earlier, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) sent notice to the local government, through the City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO), for the relocation of the night market operations as this occupies a national road which should not be unnecessarily closed to vehicular traffic.
The local chief executive asserted the need to continue the night market operation as it is the source of livelihood to the over 1,044 vendors participating in the nightly activity, aside from it being one of the tourist attractions of the city and the fact that it generates some P14 to P16 million annually as income to the city with the least infrastructure development.
Magalong ordered the CEO to inspect the Burnham Lake Drive and assess the prevailing situation for the eventual transfer of the night market operation from Harrison road to the said area the soonest in compliance to the directive from the agency tasked to oversee the national roads in the different parts of the country.
However, he recommended there must be uniformity in the designs of the make shift tents being used by the night market vendors as part of the attractions, apart from making sure that the no cooking policy as recommended by the City Health Services Office will strictly be observed in the area.
According to him, night market vendors must strictly comply with the prevailing rules and regulations crafted for the purpose of conducting the nightly activity to allow them continuous operations.
He underscored that based on the assessment conducted by the concerned offices of the local government, the Burnham Lake Drive is so far the most feasible site to relocate the night market operation because it can accommodate the huge number of vendors that are actively participating in what has become a major tourist attraction in the city.
Magalong also recommended that once the night market operation will be relocated to its new site, proper zoning should be observed so that there will be order in the area and prevent possible confusion among those who patronize the nightly activity that gained global recognition over the past several years due to the shared good experiences of those patronizing the products sold by the vendors.
By Dexter A. See