BUGUIAS, Benguet – The municipal government asserted that there was utmost transparency in the award of stalls in its new market building to legitimate vendors from the municipality.
Mayor Ruben Tindaan, in a text message, claimed that there were consultations done by the local government with the concerned vendors aside from the conduct of separate meetings that is why the award of stalls is considered to be transparent considering that it underwent the required processes.
He stated that if those who are complaining against the award of the stalls were present during the said consultations and meetings, then they should have been aware of the crafted and formulated procedures governing the award of the stalls to the deserving vendors who will vend in the town’s new market facility.
“Let us also consider the plight of the majority of the market vendors,” Mayor Tindaan stressed.
Earlier, dozens of displaced market vendors lashed out at the municipal screening committee of the local government for alleged favouritism in the award of the limited stalls to vendors who were reportedly displaced from the town’s clearing of obstructions along major roads in the municipality.
Sources earlier claimed that instead of respecting a previous agreement entered between the vendors and the local government that they will be the priority in the award of stalls in the new market building, the committee reportedly come out with a condition that those who will be awarded stalls should be registered voters of the municipality, thus, those who came from other areas outside the municipality were not actually prioritized.
According to them, the local government did not even inform the vendors that the committee is foregoing the conditions stipulated in the earlier agreement so that they did not waste their time having to go through the rigors of submitting the necessary documents and only to learn that they are no longer qualified because they are not registered voters of the municipality.
The sources also claimed that leaders of their association were constrained to support the move of the screening committee because some of them are said to be barangay officials, thus, they were forced to succumb to the whims and caprices of the screening committee.
The sources stipulated that if they were informed by the members of the screening committee that they will not be prioritize if they are not registered voters, then they should have not wasted their time in participating in the selection process and instead opted for other alternatives in trying to do business in the municipality.
Tindaan stood firm on his position that the procedures that were crafted for the purpose of awarding to the stalls to the supposed awardees were transparent and had passed through the needed consultations with the concerned sectors, thus, the awardees were allowed to already occupy the stalls in the new market building for its sustainable and continuous operation amidst the said controversy.