BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan reported the local government is not inclined to extend the month-long trade fair along Juan Luna Drive which recently ended despite the recent action of the local legislative body to extend the same without any prescribed timeline.
The local chief executive said he only approved the 3-day extension of the closure of Juan Luna Drive effective April 29, 2018 to await the decision of the local legislative body on whether or not to extend the trade fair for another month but that eventually ended up unacted upon local legislators.
Earlier, the City Council Committee on Market, Trade, Commerce and Agriculture recommended for the extension of the on-going trade fair for another month to allow the organizers and the exhibitors to recover their investments which was geared to generate some P2 million to fund the various interventions for the city’s identified Persons with Substance Use Abuse.
While the members of the local legislative body ended up voting in favour of extending the trade fair, local legislators were united in the number of days by which the activity will be extended until the meeting was adjourned early Monday evening.
The trade fair reportedly started on March 29, 2018 and was supposed to end on April 28, 2018 before Mayor Domogan issued the 3-day extension to await the decision of the council on prolonging the said activity for the benefit of the beneficiaries of the project.
Domogan explained that considering that the council failed to fix the date of the expiration of the trade fair, it is understood that the said activity will not be extended because he is not empowered by law to extend the said fund-raising activity since it is the council that is clothed with the power to do so.
“We had been criticized over the conduct of the said activity even if the concept emanated from the local legislative body. Worst, we were also accused of having sold Burnham Park when we cannot do so because the park is owned by the Department of Tourism and the local government is only the administrator of the government property,” Domogan stressed.
According to him, the exhibitors will no longer be allowed to occupy the Juan Luna Drive after the lapse of the 3-day extension.
He said the city’s Public Order and Safety Division (POSD) personnel demolish the structures erected by the exhibitors once it will be discovered that they are still in the area doing business because they no longer have the legal basis to continue doing business in the park.
Domogan appealed to the exhibitors for utmost understanding because the local legislative body failed to come out with a collective decision to extend the trade fair for a fixed period of time as he expressed gratitude to the organizers and the participants for their significant contributions in sustaining the implementation of the various government programs and projects geared towards ridding the city on the proliferation of illegal drugs which is one of the major advocacies of the present administration.
By Dexter A. See