IN a resolution looking to address the plights of ambulant vendors rendered unable to operate due to non-issuance or renewal of special permits, the Baguio City Council has ordered the creation of a task force to deliberate on the establishment of guidelines for handling ambulant vendors in the city.
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.
In an interview, Public Order and Safety Division (POSD) Chief Daryll Longid expressed opposition to the council’s move to legalize ambulant vending in the city, especially within parks.
Longid stated that legalizing the operations of ambulant vendors could open the floodgates and allow more people from outside the city to peddle their goods or products in public places. He claimed that the parks are already being saturated by peddlers and that, as per their records, most ambulant vendors are not residents of the city.