Calapan vendors protest hiked market fees

By Cristelle Elaine V. Collera

About 1,000 vendors took to the streets of Calapan City to protest the alleged overpriced public market lease fees to be  imposed by the city government.

The newly-built Calapan City public market

The protesters were demanding for cuts in “goodwill fees” set by the city government on existing stall holders and new applicants. Old stall holders need to pay P10,000 in “goodwill fee” while new applicants have to shell out P30,000 for every square meter of the unit to be leased.

At the same time, the market vendors were proposing a 50 percent initial payment of “goodwill fees” and a 30 percent reduction in monthly rentals for the newly-constructed public market.

They were also seeking for a dialogue with Mayor Salvador “Doy” C. Leachon before the new fees, contained in the newly-passed Calapan City Market Code, could be implemented.

The two-story public market, touted as the most modern in the Mimaropa region, is set to open on December 15.

Leachon, however, maintained that the revised market fees were fair enough as the new public market is equipped with modern amenities like elevator and escalator.

Citing a feasibility conducted by the city government in various public markets outside the province, he said that the fees being asked from the Calapan vendors are very “cheap.”

The mayor noted that Marikina City’s public market imposes a goodwill fee of P25,000.

The new public market, built after the old single-story market was gutted by fire in May 2008, was constructed mainly from a multi-million-peso loan from the Land Bank of the Philippines, scheduled to be paid within 10 to 15 years by the city government. PIA

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