Baguio mayor threatens to close night market

THE mayor of Baguio City has threatened to close the Harrison Road night market if issues among vendors will not be resolved.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan made the pronouncement after the City Government received reports on vendor fights and differences within the night market.

The night market has become an attraction with the influx of visitors increasing, making it a destination in itself.

Domogan said the city cannot deny the income it is getting from the daily convergence of vendors which amount to almost P1.4 million a month.

“It is also a way of giving livelihood to those who want work and a tourism attraction for the city,” Domogan said.

A nightly regulation fee is being collected from the vendors who have set up shop at the road.

Products available in the night market include used clothes or locally known as “ukay-ukay,” brand new ready to wear items, souvenirs, electronics, house wares, kitchen ware and jewelry while food stalls have also present in the area.

Previously, plans to relocate the market to a permanent area which will not hinder traffic is being eyed with a budget of 20 million to be sourced by the city in a bid to improve its operating structure.

Domogan said he is urging the local council to pass an ordinance to develop the areas surrounding Melvin Jones to become the permanent site for the night market without compromising the area as a sports hub.

The mayor also said should the ordinance passed, the local government will provide sufficient lighting fixtures around it and the elevate its perimeter as promenade for the vendors and the public, thus, Melvin Jones will still remain as a football field.

Domogan said what is important now is the serious problems before such as the sale of spaces by the enterprising individuals has already been checked aside from the putting in place of the rules and regulations to be strictly followed by individuals wanting to do business in the night market area.

Some 1,000 night market vendors conduct their trade in their allocated spaces along Harrison road nightly.

Previously, the night market was conducted within the premises of the Baguio Athletic Bowl but due to the overwhelming demand of the vendors for a better site, the said activity was relocated along Harrison road.

Domogan explained there will be no serious problem once the night market is transferred to the perimeter of Melvin Jones because people could easily adjust to the situation as the proposed venue is just very near the area where it is now. (PR)