SP set to grant 15-day ‘rental holiday’

FOR MALIMGAS STALLHOLDERS

THE Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) has agreed in principle to pass an ordinance providing for a 15-day ‘rent holiday’ for all stallholders at the Malimgas Public Market whose businesses were affected by the series of flooding in the city, particularly caused by Super Typhoon “Ompong” in September.

The agreement was reached over the objection of City Treasurer Romelita Alcantara who told the committee hearing Monday morning called by the Committee on Market headed by Councilor Dennis Canto that the grant of a 15-day rent holiday could already result in financial crisis in the city government, citing city’s failure to realize its projected P500,000 collection in cash tickets in July since market vendors did not sell during the floods.

She explained to the city councilors and officers of the Malimgas Dagupan Vendors Federation (Madavfe) that the 15-day rent holiday is equivalent to a loss of the city in the amount of P1 million, adding that the city is bound to lose more because the SP earlier passed an ordinance granting moratorium of the yearly five percent rent increase of rentals of stall holders for a period of five years.

Members of Madavfe had asked for a 20-day rent holiday—five days in July, five days in August and 10 days in September during the onslaught of  ‘Ompong’—but this was limited to 15 days taking note of the warning of City Treasurer Alcantara.

Alcantara said the projected market collection is P82 million under the 2018 city budget will likely end up to P72 million at the end of the year because of the new accommodation set to be given to the stallholders.

She said the proposed rental holiday will run counter to the rules set by the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) of the Department of Finance and could likely affect the capability of the city to earn another Seal of Local Governance next year.

To a man, the SP members endorsed the 15-day holiday and asked City Treasurer Alcantara to look for other sources of fund to offset the losses of the city.

Alcantara said the 15-day ‘rental holiday’ if it passes into a law will be applicable in October. (Leonardo Micua) 

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