The city government waives rental fees for 20 percent of vendors who will remain in temporary relocation sites for another two weeks
BAGUIO, Philippines – Around 80 percent of Baguio City’s 1,642 displaced market vendors returned to their old trading block on Tuesday, March 21, just ten days after a fire hit their segment of the public market.
In just 10 days, volunteers and the city government worked to clean up the fire site and build temporary stalls, well ahead of the projected three-month deadline.
Cleaning and clearing efforts in the affected portions of the market are 100 percent done, said Daryll Longid, head of the Public Order and Safety Division (POSD).
Meanwhile, the construction of replacement stalls for the displaced market vendors is nearing full completion.
“We are working until the night to rush so we can see the achievement we have done over the past week for our vendors,” Longid said.
According to Market Superintendent Caesar Emilio, 20 percent of the 1,642 vendors will continue using temporary relocation sites for another two weeks. The city spread out these stalls across the Baguio central business district.
The rest of the vendors will return to the old site, Emilio said..
To ease difficulties, the city will not charge vendors for their stay in the temporary sites, said City Legal Officer Althea Alberto.
Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong earlier called for volunteerism from both public and private sectors.
“I know it is an ambitious and tall order but we have to push ourselves to the limit until we bring back normalcy at the city market and reinstate our vendors,” Magalong said.
The Baguio City council also approved a resolution asking financial institutions in the city to defer fire-afflicted vendors’ loan payments without charging additional interest.
Additionally, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-CAR) provided P14 million worth of cash aid to 1,410 vendors in the region.
While vendors start to return to their old stalls, the city council is pressing the fire department to further probe the cause of the fire, which damaged an estimated P24 million worth of property. – Rappler.com