June 17, 2024

City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) Chief Arch. Donna Tabangin is pushing for the separation of the city’s public market into two zones to solve reports of alleged unfair trading practices in the area.

During the regular management committee meeting, Sept. 29, Tabangin proposed a market zoning plan divided into two parts:  The Kayang market district and the market stall or block where the current public market is located.

The move to divide the area is triggered by allegations that vendors at Kayang are “repeating” what those at the public market are selling and usually at lower prices, Tabangin said.

To solve the problem, her office is proposing the two-part zonal division intended to strictly enforce diversity of operations and how goods are sold in the public market.

The market block area is comprised of stalls, including “pop-up spaces” that are put up during the day then closed in the evening after trading is done, while populating the Kayang district are large and smaller buildings leased to owner-operated shops.

Those located at the Kayang district should have zoning and adhere to its regulations, Tabangin said.

She said a business model that treats problems arising at the public market from a business person’s perspective should be adopted since those operating in the area are traders engaged in the buying and selling of goods and offering services to the public.

As such, the city’s policies to be crafted covering the public market must be primed by this business model, Tabangin said.

The business model describes the public market as a prime real estate property with the city as the owner and landlord that has the control and authority to make the area better than what it is now.

Parameters on maintenance, cleanliness, aesthetics, and safety can be enforced in the place based on existing codes and other regulations, she added.

An aesthetically pleasing, safer and cleaner public market could mean possible higher tax revenues for the city since the increase in real estate valuations and rentals in the site are expected to follow suit.

Improvements will also engender a greater sense and pride of place among market denizens and the public in having a public market that is better than before, Tabangin said. – Gaby Keith