BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance rationalizing the operation of the night market along a portion of Harrison Road.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Edgar M. Avila stated that Resolution No. 012-2016 of the Baguio City Market Authority (BCMA) will be adopted and converted to an ordinance with partial amendments to give spirit to the law and make the same responsive to and respectful of the rights of the vendors.
The ordinance added that to guarantee impartiality in the selection of new applicants, the Public Order and Safety Division (POSD) night market enforcers shall be part of the validating committee responsible for the initial screening and checking the completion of all requirements and verifying that new applicants comply with the prescribed requirements.
The ordinance stipulated government employees, local or national, will be disqualified to avail of a slot in the night market vending area as the night market is a livelihood program intended to cater to displaced sidewalk and ambulant vendors, unemployed and indigent residents of the city.
Under the proposed ordinance, the voters certificate shall be submitted by the applicant as a requirement for a slot and failure of the applicant to comply with the same shall result to the automatic cancellation of the vendor’s registration in the night market and that vending slot will be immediately declared vacant.
The ordinance stipulated that immediate family members shall be the first priority to vacant slots if the cause of vacancy is the members incapacity to actively participate in the vending and only vacated slots due to violation of the rules and regulations shall be for draw lots to walk in vendors.
Upon the incapacity of the registered vendor to participate in the night market activity because of critical illness, old age and death, the ordinance stated that transfer of awarded slots be allowed, tolerated or permitted to immediate family members within the 4th civil degree of consanguinity who are qualified.
Avila noted that most registered night market vendors come from the marginalized group and continuity to earn for their family is a necessity.
The ordinance claimed that alternate vendors should not be restricted to family members and relatives only but shall also be allowed to any qualified person recommended by the registered vendor on temporary status applicable for 3 weeks.
Moreover, the privilege to become alternate vendors should not only be for husbands and wives, thus, related registered vendors, mother-daughter-son, father-daughter-son, or sibling to sibling living in one roof shall also be allowed to become alternates as long as they have adjacent slots.
The ordinance pointed out that swapping of slots should not be in the same zone only, thus, exchanging of slots shall be permitted provided there will be mutual understanding between interested registered vendors. Vacated slots or slots ready for draw lots shall be permitted for swapping to any interested member if application letter is submitted before the vacant slot is awarded.
By Dexter A. See