30 May 2022 – The local government will be increasing the regulatory fees being collected from night market vendors fromP350 to P500 aside from expanding the night market stall area from 1.5 by 1.5 meters to 2 by 2 meters per slot.
The increase in night market fees and the expansion of the night market stall area was contained under Executive Order (EO) No. 62, series of 2022 issued on May 25, 2022.
Earlier, City Treasurer Alex Cabarrubias disclosed that his office is awaiting the issuance of the appropriate order to legitimize the collection of the increased night market fees that are collected from the participating vendors on a weekly basis.
On May 18, 2022, city officials with night market vendors, totaling to a number of 329, at the Baguio Athletic Bowl to discuss the proposed increase in the night market stall areas and the corresponding fees that will be collected by the local government from the participating vendors.
The majority of the attendees to the said meeting agreed to the increase in the areas of the allotted vending slots, acceding that the same would address concerns on overcrowding, especially in the light of the implementation of minimum public health standards that are continuously being enforced.
The order stated that an increase in the vending fees is proper considering the expansion of the vending area that will be occupied by each of the participating night market vendors.
The night market has been a consistently viable income-generating activity and has grown to become a sought-after tourist attraction in the city since the same was put in place through Administrative Order No. 033, series of 2013.
With requests from vendors to increase the number of available vending a lot, the City Treasury Office and the City Mayor’s Office – Public Order and Safety Division have been tasked to propose amendments to existing regulations being implemented to effectively accommodate interested parties who wish to participate in the night market operation to mitigate the effects of the prevailing Corona Virus Disease (COVID) 2019 pandemic on small businesses and other sources of livelihood of the people.
On March 9, 2022, a consultative meeting was held that was attended by night market block leaders and night market task force where the attendees reportedly agreed to increase the night market vending fees from P350 per slot per vendor to P500. Simultaneous with the expansion of the vending slot from 1.5 by 1.5 meters to 2 by 2 meters.
However, the city council passed Resolution No. 176, series of 2022 requesting the City Treasury Office for a status quo in the increase in weekly night market fees.
The local government underscored that the funds that will be generated from the slight increase in the regulatory fees from the operation of the night market will be used to enhance the delivery of basic services which the vendors will also benefit from among other purposes.
Last May 29, 2022, the City Treasury Office (CTO) started collecting from the participating night market vendors the P500 weekly regulatory fees that coincided with the expansion of the slots from 1.5 by 1.5 meters to 2 by 2 meters pursuant to Executive Order (EO) No. 62, series of 2022 issued on May 25, 2022.
Marietta Alvarez, CTO Supervising Administrative Officer and current officer-in-charge of the market division, stated that the increase in the weekly regulatory fees being paid by the night market vendors was a product of their consensus during a meeting last May 18, 2022.
She claimed that more than 80 percent of the attendees of the said meeting voted in favor of the increase in the weekly regulatory fees from P350 to P500 after Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong explained to them the reasons why the local government will be increasing the prevailing fees for the said nightly activity.
The CTO official emphasized that the mayor was candid in informing them that the local government’s resources were already depleted because of the enormous expenses that were incurred in the implementation of the aggressive pandemic response which is why city officials went to request funding support from higher authorities.
According to her, the funds that will be generated will be used to augment whatever available resources that will be earmarked for the provision of the needed assistance to individuals in crisis situation, medical aid among other social welfare programs, projects, and activities of the local government.
Alvarez disclosed that prior to the Corona Virus Disease (COVID) 2019 pandemic, there was a plan by the local government to increase the weekly regulatory fees of the night market operation to around P700 but the same was shelved because of the heavy impact that was inflicted by the pandemic to the established economic activities and sources of livelihood of the people.
She narrated that after explaining the reasons for the increase in the weekly night market regulatory fees, the mayor left the meeting area to allow the participating vendors to decide on the increase that will be effected that will be affordable to them for the time being.
She emphasized that the previous regulatory fee for the night market was already outdated which is why the local government decided to increase the same to a reasonable level in consultation with the concerned sectors for them to provide their suggestions and recommendations on what will be the amount that will be affordable to the affected vendors. – Dexter A. See