The Baguio Market Vendors Association (BAMARVA) appeal to Mayor Benjie Magalong to listen to
their proposal also saying that they are not opposing , but they are with the City of Baguio in the improvement of the Baguio City Market into a world class city public market north of Manila.
However, Lawyer Zosimo Abratique President of the BAMARVA said that any development should not however be at the expense of the livelihood of the 4,000 vendors, the number of which
excludes their respective families and other enterprises dependent on the City Market.

In 2019, the vendors collaborated with the city in coming up with master plan for the redevelopment of the city public market. The collaborative plan was however abandoned by the city in favor of unsolicited proposals, if there is such a thing as unsolicited proposal. The mere provision of a space for goods and merchandise do not make a city market. The city market is the haven of micro and small entrepreneurs.

The development proposed by a giant retail chain do not provide a level playing field which would ultimately lead to the extinction of
small entrepreneurs. This is backed by concrete experiences like the malling of Dagupan City and the
Center Mall experience. Further, we should not forget the lessons of Benguet vis-as-vis the city of
Makati. Would the city of Baguio benefit from revenues to be generated in the proposed enterprise.
Or would it be some other LGU.
“We are not giving up. We will contest the proposal of SM, as the holder of the Original
Proponent Status” Abratique said . He further explained that “ The consortium of cooperative,
collectively or with the Baguio City Market Multipurpose Cooperative as the lead cooperative
supported by the other market cooperative shall challenge the proposal and present its own which is
pro vendors, pro Baguio and pro people. The cooperatives shall insist on the privileges given to it by
law which were ignored somewhere along this process” “The BAMARVA through its legal team is scrutinizing with a fine tooth comb, the process resulting to the selection and award to SM the original proponent status. There are many questions that beg to be answered. With the Non Disclosure Agreement required of the observers in the negotiations, we could not comment on the whatever has been agreed upon by SM and the city.

We will cross the bridge when we get there”, Abratique lamented. In sum, the vendors are not against development of the market. They will after all be the direct beneficiaries. In fact, they have invested in an alternative proposal. We call on the general populace of Baguio to support the proposal of vendors. This is after all your market, too. The vendors hope that at the end of the day, this administration will listen to these clamor.

Amianan Balita Ngayon