KIDAPAWAN CITY, Cotabato — The local government of this city has closed a satellite market for failing to obtain a franchise.
Mayor José Paolo Evangelista said the city government had issued a notice of violations to the owner of Squaremart, a satellite market that operates in Barangay Poblacion, for failing to obtain a franchise from the city hall.
Aside from the 20 stall owners affected by the closure, another 28 stalls in the city’s mega market, the main market here, were also closed due to the owners’ failure to renew their business permits.
“We already gave them enough time to comply, but still, they did not comply (with the requirements) for some unknown reasons,” Evangelista said.
The city government has approved this year an ordinance that regulates the operation of satellite markets, after the “talipapas” multiplied in various areas near the central district.
Satellite markets can be found in Barangay Poblacion, Magsaysay, Sudapin and Singao.
Although most stall owners pay monthly rentals to private operators, some satellite markets operate franchise-free but continue to collect monthly rentals from stall occupants.
In addition to their monthly rents, the stall owners in the satellite markets are also required to obtain business permits from the city government before operating.
But some have met the requirements, others operate without renewing their business permits.
“It can be tough, but we want equal treatment among our suppliers,” the mayor said. “If others can qualify, why can’t you?” he asked, referring to those who didn’t comply.
Evangelista said he did not forgive even his relative, whose satellite market was also shut down for not being able to secure a franchise.
“The law is for everyone,” he said. He also refused to negotiate. “There is no room for negotiation. Secure your franchise and we will allow you to operate businesses in the city,” he said.
But it invited vendors, who had business permits but were affected by the closure of the Squaremart satellite market, to use some allocated spaces at the Bagsakan in Magsaysay and participate in Merkado Kidapaweño, a Saturday market in front of town hall.
“That is the least we can offer to help. Vendors also need to survive,” said the mayor.
Evangelista urged private owners of satellite markets to secure their franchises with the city to avoid inconvenience.
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