June 20, 2024

Gloria Antoinette Hamada, publisher and chief operating officer of Baguio Midland Courier, appealed to the city government to lay bare its concrete plan for the proposed relocation of newsstands in the city, especially those that are located at the central business district.

During the city council’s regular session last Monday, Hamada requested a meeting with the City Planning and Development Office and the Permits and Licensing Division to discuss whatever the city government has in store for the newsstands. 

She lamented the effects of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic to the newspaper vendors and local publishers, stressing that the relocation of newsstands will further disadvantage them. 

“The number of newspaper deliverers has gone down from almost a hundred to only less than 30. This relocation of newsstands will further affect not only their livelihood but also Midland which is one of the local newspapers trying to recover from this pandemic,” she said. 

Hamada said she attempted to convince establishments to accommodate the newsstands within their premises, but only a few were willing.

In a public consultation attended by journalists, publishers, general managers of newspaper organizations, newspaper vendors, and watch repairmen in December 2020, the city government decided to allow these vending stands in the CBD to stay in their current locations from January to June 2021 while plans for their relocation had yet to be finalized.

The city government proposed that the vending structures would be relocated either within the premises of establishments willing to accommodate them or in spaces that may be identified by the city government after the conduct of a survey. In areas where the stands may be relocated, a .6-meter setback from the sidewalk must be observed so as to keep customers from blocking or clogging the sidewalk, allowing the smooth flow of pedestrians.

The six-month period given in December 2020 to newspaper vendors for the relocation of their vending stands was extended four times by virtue of resolutions passed by the city council.

With the appeal for the formulation of a concrete plan, the city council yet again passed another resolution requesting the executive department to extend the period. 

The city council likewise invited the City Planning and Development Office to attend the regular session on June 20 to give an update on the proposed plan to relocate the newsstands.  – Jordan G. Habbiling