BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan urged the City Engineering Office to review the detailed plan that it earlier prepared for the improvement of the perimeter of Melvin Jones grandstand that will serve as the permanent relocation site of the famous night market that is currently being held along the 500-meter stretch of Harrison road.
The local chief executive said there is a need for the concerned office to review the detailed plan to reduce the huge project cost so that the funds for the purpose could be sourced out from the available funds of the city to pursue the proposed relocation of the site of the night market from Harrison Road to the perimeter of the Melvin Jones football ground.
“Melvin Jones will remain as a football field but its perimeter will serve as the relocation site of the night market vendors to free Harrison road from the nightly congestions due to the huge crowd that patronize the products sold by thousands of vendors in the temporary night market area,” Domogan stressed.
He explained that the only improvement to be done in the perimeter of Melvin Jones is to put up a concrete walkway with sufficient lighting fixtures to make the area suitable for the conduct of night market.
According to him, the perimeter of Melvin Jones can accommodate a larger number of vendors who will be pursuing their lucrative trade and that more people will be accommodated and can freely move around the area because of the sufficient spaces to be provided for them to go around to look for items to purchase from the vendors.
Aside from being a major tourist attraction in the city, the night market is providing a sustainable source of livelihood for over a thousand vendors and generate additional income for the local government with lesser investment on infrastructure.
Based on data obtained from the City Treasury Office, the night market is generating some P1.2 to P1.4 million in fees paid by the night market vendors monthly which is considered as one of the city’s major income generators.
More than 1,000 night market vendors conduct their trade in the night market area along Harrison road that serve as their major source of income for their families.
The local government strengthened the conduct of the night market to serve as the alternative vending area of ambulant vendors who were displaced because of the city’s unrelenting and uncompromising anti-peddling campaign not only in the city public market but also along major roads, parks and public places in the different parts of the city.
The various sections of the public market and numerous roads and parks were freed from the proliferation of ambulant vendors over the past several years following the strict enforcement of the anti-peddling policy that resulted in the opening up of sidewalks to pedestrian traffic.
Domogan said that the final plan to be presented by the City Engineering Office will serve as the basis for the local government in allocating the required funds to implement the project and effect the transfer of the night market vendors to the perimeter of Melvin Jones football field.
By Dexter A. See