YouTube video on kotong at Magsaysay Market goes viral

By January 2, 2022Top Stories


“YONG kotongero na yan dapat na mahuli sa entrapment, tapos ang tao na yan dapat itapon sa dagat para mapakinabangan ng mga hipon at isda”.

This was one of the harshest comments on a YouTube report posted by SMNI December 22  -“Pangongotong sa Vendors ng Magsaysay Market sa Dagupan dapat mapahinto”  that went viral overnight, earning more than 11,000 views, 270 likes and 98 comments in a period of just three days and still counting.

The SMNI news reported the “kotong” being collected by the Lim administration’s market officials from fish vendors at the Magsaysay Fish Market in Dagupan City

The Small-scale Fish Consignment and Retailers Association of Dagupan (SFCRAD) headed by Marietta Barrientos, had exposed the monthly P25,000 “protection fee”  collected by the members of the city’s Market Marshals during public hearing conducted by the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP).

Barrientos told the SP more than a month ago that the monthly P25,000 “kotong” was on top of the P100 daily cash tickets being collected for 24 hours vending, when it should only be P20 in accordance with the provision of the local tax ordinance.

Turning emotional, Barrientos, confirmed that “kotong” has been going on and accused officials of the Lim administration of being “heartless” and insensitive to the plight of the poor people.

Asked by an SMNI reporter if they were made to pay the same amount by the past city administration, Barrientos replied “no”, saying it’s only during the Lim administration.

Danila Cayabyab, former President and now Secretary of the Dagupan Fish Consignacion and Ice Dealers Association (DAFCIDA), said ambulant vendors have been forced to occupy parking areas for trucks of bangus suppliers just to earn more to make up for the kotong  they lose daily.

“Hindi namin alam na may nagaganap na kotong na pala and this involves the current administration,” Cayabyab said.

The SP had written to his office to inform him of the illegal collection and overcharging of daily tickets, but Mr. Lim never responded to the complaint of the fish vendors to date.

When SMNI asked Mayor Brian Lim to comment on the fish vendors’ complaint, he merely said that ambulant vending is not a right but rather a privilege and must follow regulations. He didn’t respond to the kotong complaint vs. the market officials.

SMNI sought a clarification from former Mayor Belen Fernandez about activities of market officials during her administration, and she said she warned the anti-littering task force of drastic action i..f any of the members are reported to be illegally collecting fees from vendors, or not paying for goods taken from vendors.

She recalled that when she heard that tricycle and jeepneys  drivers were giving “kotong” money to one of her officials, she dismissed him right away.

She said all those reported to be engaged in kotong at the market will be dismissed if given the chance to return to her former post.

The vendors told SMNI that they had referred illegal collections to their lawyer, since the city government refuses to act on the illegal activities of its market officials..

One Jun V. Varona commented: Ayusin nyo yan. Mahiya kayo sa pagmumukha nyo mayor ng Dagupan. Baka sumabit  ka dyan. Yan pa ang ikakatangal mo sa pagka mayor. KC responsibilidad mo yan. Ikaw ang mayor”. (Leonardo Micua)

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