BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved a resolution that will grant a one-year period for qualified parties or individuals who were not able to meet the deadline set by the Baguio City Market Authority (BCMA) for the transfer of leasehold rights over stalls at the city public market.
The approval of the resolution stemmed from a proposed ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. granting amnesty or relief to qualified applicants to perfect the transfer of the leasehold rights over stalls at the public market considering that they were not able to perfect their documents in the transfer of the rights in their names.
Earlier, the BCMA passed a resolution that barred the previous practice of directly awarding vacated stalls to the heirs of the deceased leaseholders and that the award of the said vacated stalls will be done through public bidding.
City Treasurer Alex Cabarrubias informed local legislators that direct award of leasehold rights to the heirs of deceased leaseholders is no longer being done because all vacated stalls either through the death or incapacity of the leaseholder or the non-payment of arrears among others are subject to public bidding and that stalls must be physically vacated before the same will be bidded out.
He added that the BCMA decided to forego the direct award of vacated stalls because it was discovered that those who had been claiming to be the heirs of deceased leaseholders are not actually part of their direct line which should not be the case to prevent the stalls from being inheritance of family members.
Local legislators raised the fact that having awarded leasehold rights over market stalls is simply a privilege and not a right which is subject to the rules and regulations crafted by the local government for the use of the same.
On the other hand, some local legislators claimed that there are some qualified parties and individuals who were to able to meet the prescribed deadline in the filing of their applications for the transfer of leasehold rights in their names considering that they were not able to complete the documentary requirements within the period that was allowed by the BCMA for them to do so.
The resolution directed the BCMA to set aside its earlier decision to prohibit the direct award of stalls through the conduct of public bidding until such time that all the qualified applicants who were not able to transfer their rights over their stalls shall have completed the same in the spirit of fairness.
Tax Ordinance No. 2000-001 and Ordinance No. 61, series of 1986 authorizes the BCMA to govern the affairs of the city public markets that are situated in the different parts of the city to instill order in the conduct of transactions within the city’s public facility.
Cabarrubias claimed that the City Treasury Office is opposed to any form of transfer of stalls in the public market but he will be amenable to the provision of more time for qualified applicants who were not able to complete their documentary requirements to complete their requirements so that they will be warded their stalls.
By Dexter A. See