Magalong eyes cooperative for roving vendors

BAGUIO CITY – Roaming vendors within city streets and public parks with permits will be organized into a cooperative for them to be given livelihood assistance by the city government, Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong said on Wednesday, July 17, 2019.
Hundreds of roving vendors who are earning their daily needs by selling novelty items and street foods among others within the city market, public parks and certain city streets gathered in a meeting with the mayor at the city Multipurpose Hall on Wednesday.
The mayor listened to the plea of the vendors who claimed that their only source of sustenance is by selling their goods to park goers as well as those on city streets and the city market as they are incapable to pay rent if they are to lease a physical store.
Ambulant vendors in the past crowded the city market, city streets and public parks but the city government was able to manage this by providing special permits to sell. The permit served as passes for the vendors to sell their goods within areas allowed and identified by the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) as well as the Baguio City Market Authority (BCMA).
Errant vendors caught selling outside their identified areas whether they have special permits or none are apprehended by the city’s Public Order and Safety Division (POSD).
Burnham Park Vendors Association president Bernardita Banania said she has been vending at Burnham Park for over 20 years with her cart full of various merchandise such as balloons, chips and toys. Her association has over 200 members who sell their goods at Burnham Park on alternate basis to avoid crowding in the park.
“Pero simula nang maupo si Mayor Magalong, wala ng nakapagrenew ng special permit sa amin,” Banania lamented. She said they continue to sell sans the special permit since it is their only source of income.
Magalong answered that “parks are beyond the commerce of man,” and therefore selling should not be allowed but the city government will not ban roving vendors immediately until a cooperative is formed in order to cater to the needs of the vendors.
“We plan to formulate a cooperative with roving vendors as members and we will put up a physical store for them to manage. The city government will provide assistance to the cooperatives by providing the goods and merchandise to be sold in the stores,” Magalong said.
He added that the stores will only be limited in numbers depending on the park so as not to accumulate large footprint of the park reservations. Magalong said his proposal is patterned in Japan where the elderlies are organized to manage specialty stores in the parks while keeping their parks clean and orderly.
“In six months from now, ayoko nang makakita ng roving vendors sa mga parks,” Magalong said. Committee on Market, Trade and Commerce chairperson Philian Weygan-Allan said there will no longer be special permits to be issued to roving vendors as a prelude to the formulation of cooperatives.
Jessa Mardy P. Samidan-PIO/ABN

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