THE Baguio City Council on Monday approved an amnesty program in a bid to clean up the mess surrounding stall ownership and leasing in the market.
According to Councilor Mylen Yaranon, the ordinance would, upon implementation, allow market stall owners to claim their stalls as if it were a brand new registration, as well as to resolve violations such as stall leasing without taking any penalties for three months.
The move is intended to encourage violators to come clean and fix their registration with the government through amnesty in order for the city to straighten out any registration concerns and properly catalogue its 4,000 or so market vendors.
Under the amnesty program, stall inheritors of stalls originally rented to persons who have passed away will have to arrange among all the heirs a single individual to properly inherit the stall and be registered as the official owner.
Leasing, which should be a violation of the city’s rules ordinarily, will be fixed by the city having the registered stall owner and the lessors come to an agreement on who will be registered anew as the official stall owner.
However, there is still a penalty for lessors despite no charges being pressed, according to Yaranon. Under the program revamping the stall ownership titles, stall owners who register and lease out their stalls will have to pay the rent rates they charge lessors if it is higher than the government rates, decreasing each month until it reaches the official rates.
The ordinance, approved on third and final reading on Monday, is now awaiting the mayor’s signature for immediate implementation.