January 29, 2023

Eighteen vendors occupying the Magsaysay Building at the Baguio Public Market are asking the city government to postpone the implementation of the notice to vacate issued earlier due to the building’s dangerous and hazardous status.

In a dialogue with City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña last Oct. 10, the vendors pleaded for them to continue operating their businesses while the city has yet to finalize its plan for the redevelopment of the market.

The vendors claimed that they have not received copies of the reports of the City Buildings and Architecture Office and Bureau of Fire Protection stating that the building is a fire hazard. As per records of the Baguio City Market Authority, there are 50 lessees occupying the building aside from the 38 watch repair stalls outside the structure.

Dela Peña said there is no relocation site for the vendors but the city government has to enforce the eviction and demolition for safety reasons.

“My suggestion is for the vendors to continue their business until December only as humanitarian consideration. But the vendors are asking if they could stay until the city has finalized its market redevelopment plan,” Dela Peña said.

While not giving a guarantee, the city administrator said he will bring the request of the vendors to the mayor.

He made a verbal agreement with the vendors that if the mayor will permit them, the vendors shall sign an undertaking that if they will take full responsibility of any untoward incident that may happen within the building.

The barangay hall of Upper Magsaysay located within the building will also be affected. Punong Barangay Precilla Dacanay said if the demolition pushes through, they will transfer to the Baguio City Market Authority office.

The notice to vacate will lapse today. The city government is set to demolish the building and the open space will be temporarily used as parking area. Under the annual budget of the city government for this year that was prepared during the previous administration, P20 million was allotted for the structure’s renovation.– Jessa Mardy Samidan

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