May 19, 2024

The Sangguniang Panlungsod ng Baguio in a resolution has requested the Mayor’s Office to extend the validity of the agreement entered into by the Permits and Licensing Division and the newsstand vendors, and watch repair stand proprietors, among others.

Peter Puzon, a concerned citizen, brought the matter to the attention of the city council last week, informing the council the six-month extension period is ending on June 30.

In a public consultation attended by journalists, publishers and general managers of newspaper organizations, and vendors/repairmen in December 2020, the city government decided to allow these stands located in the central business district to operate in their current locations from January to June while plans for their relocation have yet to be finalized.

The public consultation was facilitated by Permits and Licensing Chief Allan Abayao, City Planning and Development Coordinator Donna Tabangin, Executive Assistant V Philip Puzon, councilors Mylen Victoria Yaranon and Philian Weygan-Allan, Atty. Jordan Tumayan of the City Legal Office, Arch. Homer Soriano of the City Buildings and Architecture Office, and Public Order and Safety Division Deputy Head Daryll Longid.

As agreed, the vendors and repairmen shall be relocated either within the premises of establishments that are willing to accommodate them or in spaces that may be identified and proposed by the city government after conducting a survey.

In areas where the stands may be relocated, a 0.6-meter setback from the sidewalk must be observed to keep customers from blocking/clogging the sidewalk and allow smooth flow of pedestrians.

City hall officials said the move to relocate the stands emanated from a directive issued by the national government under Department of the Interior and Local Government Memorandum Circular 2019-121 signed by Sec. Eduardo Año on July 9, 2020.

The circular enjoins all local government units to implement operations that will remove constructions and illegal structures from public roads.

Tumayan said the national mandate includes conducting clearing operations on alleys, thoroughfares, and sidewalks.

The circular also directs the local councils to revisit ordinances to ensure responsiveness to the presidential directive and to ensure consistency with related laws or policies.

During the executive-legislative meeting last week, Tabangin presented another alternative relocation area of newsstands.

She said these vending structures will form part of the structural design of waiting sheds in the city. – Jordan G. Habbiling