December 6, 2023

The Baguio City Market Authority (BCMA) has declared as “extinguished” the contracts or occupation of a total of 1,565 at the blocks 3 and 4 and caldero section at the city market which were destroyed by the fire last March 11.

In Resolution 002-2023 approved  on June 15, the BCMA said with the move, the occupancy of the subject stalls numbering 296 in Block 3; 1,267 in Block 4, and two in caldero section plus seven others that were partially damaged and declared entitled to reduction of monthly rental fees “shall be temporary in nature until such time that the BCMA technical working group specifically created for this purpose, determines the rightful occupant(s) of (the said) stalls and shall subsequently be issued their new contracts with the city.”

The move was pursuant to Article 1655 of the Civil Code which states that “If the thing leased is totally destroyed by a fortuitous event, the lease is extinguished. If the destruction is partial, the lessee may choose between a proportional reduction of the rent and a rescission of the lease.”

Mayor Benjamin Magalong, who chairs the BCMA, said with this move, they hope to address lease violations including subleasing issues that have long been raised at the city market.

He said the TWG is now carefully studying the contracts and the circumstances of the leaseholders to determine whether the leaseholder should retain the rights over the stalls or whether to consider the actual occupants as the rightful new leaseholder.

The decision will be made on a case-to-case basis, he said. 

City Legal Officer, Althea Rosanna Alberto, a member of the BCMA, said stalls with no leasehold disputes will be prioritized in the drafting of new contracts while those with unresolved conflicts including subleasing issues will be reviewed to determine the rightful leaseholder. – Aileen P. Refuerzo