THE Baguio City Council has issued a resolution giving approval to the issuance of special permits for taho and other vendors operating at the Lion’s Head, allowing them to continue operations.
Under Resolution No. 352, series of 2023, local legislators said that they were in favor of the renewal of the earlier requested special vending permits, provided that the vendors comply with the requirements and conditions in securing the said permits.
Among the conditions imposed by the council for the processing of the special permits include the fact that the vendors should secure barangay business clearance; clearance from the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) or City Planning and Development Office (CPDO), depending on whether the vendors operate in or out of the parks; clearance from the City Health Services Office (CHSO) for food stalls or products; business tax; stall plans showing smooth flow of human traffic entrance and exit; health certificates from the CHSO; and proof of license that the products to be sold are safe and their sources are duly licensed.
The matter came about when vendors plying their trade at the tourist spot sought assistance in the renewal of their special permits to operate in the area.
According to Allan Abayao, head of the Permits and Licensing Division (PLD), affected vendors were given special permits at the peak of COVID-19 pandemic. However, their permits lapsed in 2020. They were advised to apply for regular business permits to fully legalize their operations.
But members of the city council said that some requirements for business permits are not applicable to ambulant vendors who conduct business without permanent spaces and earn only enough to scrape by with their necessities.
The council proposed that instead of prohibiting ambulant vending, the city should instead establish guidelines in order to allow the vendors to continue plying their trade in a legal and regulated manner.
To date, the city’s lawmakers are still deliberating on appropriate guidelines for ambulant vendors in the city.