Fish vendors told: Sell for 3 hours only or else…
AFTER PAYING P100 DAILY TO CITY HALL
THE small fish vendors that were recently allowed to sell under brand new tents along the sidewalk of a backstreet in front of the Magsaysay Fish Market but were told they can only sell for 3 hours trooped back to the Sangguniang Panlungsod pleading for help.
Councilor Teresa Coquia, chair of the SP committee on market, confirmed the fish vendors were initially happy with the accommodation from the city hall but were only allowed to sell from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.
Marietta Ballesteros, president of the Small Vendors and Fish Consignment Association, told the SP that any vendor insisting to sell in the area beyond 8:00 a.m. daily were threatened with confiscation of their selling receptacles.
Ballesteros pleaded that the market administration allows them to sell in the area for 24 hours like other vendors beside the old Melee’s Restaurant and at the Magsaysay Fish Market, or set a fixed schedule but a longer time to sell.
She also denounced the constant changing schedules being implemented by the Market Marshals without any written notice to them and asked that any charge in schedule should be issued in writing.
Danila Cayabyab, treasurer of the Dagupan Fish Consignacion and Ice Dealers Association (DAFCIDA), confirmed the continuous harassment and bullying of small fish vendors by members of the task force implementing regulations at the fish market and supported the call of Ballesteros that the small fish vendors be treated like other vendors and given 24 hours to sell.
Cayabyab pointed out that there is no fixed time for the arrival of trucks delivering fish to the Magsaysay Market from whom vendors get their stocks to sell.
When she asked marshals who ordered them to confiscate receptacles of vendors, their standard response was: “Galing sa taas.”
Meanwhile, Councilor Jose Netu Tamayo, SP chairman on laws and ordinances, asked on the legal basis for the imposition of limited time for vendors to sell in the market, and stressed that there is no ordinance enacted by the present and past Sanggunians providing for it.
He said the fish vendors are paying P100 daily as tax in the form of cash tickets whose validity is 24 hours and are being shortchanged if the city limits them to sell their wares to just three hours.
Councilor Luis Samson Jr. said the SP can only pass a resolution asking the mayor to take action on the sad plight of the fish vendors but if he refuses the legislative body cannot do anything.
Majority Floor Leader Michael Fernandez was about to propose such a resolution when Councilor Celia Lim volunteered to bring the matter to the attention of her son Mayor Brian Lim but admonished the vendors not to do anything that could disturb the peace.
To further aggravate the situation, some market marshals reportedly prohibit the vendors from taking any video footage of activities in the fish market. (Leonardo Micua)
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