Amnesty for Baguio market vendors proposed

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The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on third reading a proposed ordinance granting amnesty program for a period of three months for violations of pertinent provisions of the city’s Market Code and Tax Ordinance No. 2000-0001 in the city market, including in all city-owned satellite markets and slaughterhouse compound.

The ordinance stated that the amnesty will be granted for various violations of pertinent provisions of Tax Ordinance No. 2000-001 such as for the transfer of leasehold rights upon presentation of added of sale, waiver of rights or acknowledgement by the registered leaseholder of the transfer, shall be issued a contract of lease, provided that, the transferee is personally, physically conducting business in the said stall or booth. The transferee or occupant shall execute an affidavit stating in detail the circumstances of the occupation, start of the occupation, attaching the pertinent documents evidencing the transfer.

Further, for the leaseholder who is now deceased, the compulsory heirs must execute an extrajudicial settlement or waiver of rights designating the person that necessarily a compulsory heir who shall be the registered leaseholder. Said assigned person must be personally, physically present to conduct business.

For a leaseholder who is subleasing using dummies or mortgage, the leaseholder and the sub-lessee or dummy or mortgagee shall terminate the said relationship where the leaseholder with the consent of the other party, may regain occupancy of the stall. Should the parties fail to agree, the contract of lease shall be revoked or cancelled and the stall declared vacant.

Moreover, the occupant shall execute an affidavit stating in detail the circumstances of the occupation, start of the occupation, attaching the pertinent documents evidencing the transfer.

After a preliminary review by the Baguio city Market Authority (BCMA) of the affidavit and supporting documents of the actual occupants, the BCMA shall issue a notice of violation to the leaseholder and shall provide the notice and the documents to the registered leaseholder who shall be given 15 days within which to reply, in an affidavit, contesting or controverting the allegations and evidences of the occupants.

The BCMA shall conduct a full investigation to be completed in not more than 30 days.

Should the BCMA decide in favor of the leaseholder, he or she shall retain the stall but should the BCMA decide in favor of the occupant, the contract of lease over the stall shall be issued in his favor. If there are more than one qualified occupants, the stall shall be awarded by drawing lots.

Under the ordinance, any person who is not satisfied with the adjudication of stalls may file an appeal with the city council within 30 days from notice of the adjudication, as provided for by existing ordinances.

The ordinance asserted that the amnesty program may be availed of only for a period of 3 months from its effectivity. It shall cover stalls previously declared vacant. After the said period, all violations of existing ordinances shall be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of Tax Ordinance No. 2000-001.

The amnesty shall be applicable in the city public market, including all city-owned satellite markets, and the slaughterhouse. By Dexter A. See

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