THE Baguio City Council is looking to maintain the status quo on vendor fees for Sunday Session Road market vendors after reports that the fees have increased in the past months.
Records submitted to the council indicate that fees for retailers in the Sunday showcases have gone from P250 to P722 while the fees of vendors selling food have gone up from P650 to P879.
As a response to the fee increase, Councilor Philian Weygan-Allan is looking to pen a resolution formally asking for a status quo to keep the fees from rising.
Similarly, the fee for night market vendors increased from P350 to P500 in mid-March, which saw the council issue a resolution requesting the City Treasury Office (CTO) for status quo on fees as well, which saw the fees revert on May 9.
The council has questioned the increase in fees for the Sunday Session Road market as there has been no city council resolution nor a Baguio City Market Authority (BCMA) resolution as basis for the increase of fees.
Fernando Ragma of the Local Treasury Operations Office IV, in April defended the increase, saying that taxes and fees for vendors at the Sunday market are far lower than for Session Road in Bloom.
He added that Sunday market vendors are not required to obtain a zoning clearance, barangay clearance, occupancy permit, and are not obligated to have a contract with the city government.
Additionally, Ragma defended the higher rates by citing the roughly P28 million of revenue the Sunday market generated in 2021 and the P4.17 million generated in the first two months of 2022 as justification for higher fees.
However, Weygan-Allan questioned the assessment of gross income of vendors that was used as a basis for the increased fees.
“The sales are not reflective of the actual situation. A vendor who had zero sales last year because of the pandemic is charged P722.00,” she said.
City Treasurer Alex Cabarrubias meanwhile said that the vendors can contest the computation of their gross income by presenting their documents and books to the city.