May 25, 2024

■  Jane B. Cadalig 

A member of the city council expressed reservations about the frequent conduct of trade fairs in Baguio and the lack of terminal reports about these activities.

Sangguniang Kabataan Federation President John Rey Mananeng said it is ironic that the city government is promoting Baguio as a walkable city but a lot of trade fairs are being held in the alleys and parks that make walking a challenge due to congestion in these areas.

Mananeng made the remark upon the council’s accommodation of the request of a group of solo parents to hold a trade fair at the Igorot Garden from April 5 to 18.

He said there have been several requests for trade fairs that were granted, yet the council barely gets post-activity reports.

He said it is high time the council gets stricter and should require groups that intend to hold trade fairs to submit a concrete plan on where they will use the proceeds of the fairs instead of simply stating it is for fundraising purposes.

Councilor Benny Bomogao shared the sentiments, adding several violations have been noted during trade fairs where stallholders do not comply with the conditions set in the resolution that endorsed the conduct of these events.

Bomogao cited as an example the international trade fair at the Juan Luna Drive at Burnham Park where some stalls are not selling food, but are instead engaged in the sale of other items.

He asked that the Permits and Licensing Division be ordered to close the stalls that are not complying with the theme set by the organizers of the trade fair.

“We should show that the city council does not condone violators of what we approve,” Bomogao said.

Councilor Peter Fianza meanwhile asked that City Environment and Parks Management Office Head Rhenan Diwas submit to the city council the basis of his report that stated only city-sponsored or co-sponsored events are allowed to hold trade fairs within city parks to regulate selling activities in these areas.

Fianza said the Trade Fair Ordinance only provides that the holding of trade fairs should be approved by the city council.

He said the provision for city-sponsored or co-sponsored events is on the exemption of certain fees to be imposed on the organizer.