THREE years after the Baguio City government first extended the terms allowing newsstands, watch repair stalls, and other small vendors to stay in the city’s sidewalks, there has yet to be permanent relocation plans, leading to the government extending the stalls’ stay by another six months.
The city council adopted Resolution No. 382, series of 2023 requesting Mayor Benjamin Magalong to extend the validity of the agreement of Permits and Licensing Division of the City Mayor’s Office and the affected newspaper stands, vendors and watch repair proprietors from July 2023 to December 2023 until such time that the City Planning, Development, and Sustainability Office (CPDSO) has come up with concrete plans and arrangements for their relocation.
The stalls have been in legal limbo since December 2020, when the government first attempted to issue an edict removing them from the city’s sidewalks, whereupon negotiations led to the first of multiple six-month reprieves and extensions while the city deliberated on what to do with them.
To date, some 53 stalls are benefiting from their special permits and plying their trades in the sidewalks of the city’s roads.
The stalls are supposed to be cleared out of the city’s sidewalks pursuant to Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2020-145 of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) mandating local government units and the Department of Public Works and Highways to implement the national sidewalk recovery program.
However, without a complete plan to relocate said stalls and ensure their continued livelihood, the local government has opted to issue temporary extensions on their stay instead.