Bayanihan Media Awards National Winner

Vendors seek Gov. Yap’s help over closure of Tarlac City public market

PROTEST. Tarlac City vendors stage a protest action at the Tarlac Capitol compound and express their complaints against the closure of the Uptown Market. (Joey Pavia)

TARLAC CITY – Hundreds of vendors in this city are up in arms against the closure of a public market here, seeking the assistance of Tarlac Gov. Susan Yap.

The vendors expressed dismay over the closure of the Uptown Market since last month. It is operated by the Paliparan Central Market Corporation (PALIPARAN).

They recently staged a protest action at the Tarlac Capitol compound and brought placards to air their complaints. Initially, Yap spoke with vendors and she intends to give financial assistance and food packs to them.

“Mahal naming Gov. Susan Yap humihingi po kami ng tulong sa inyo. Isinara po ang Uptown Market,” said the vendors in one of the placards. (Our beloved Gov. Susan Yap we are asking for your help. The
Uptown Market was closed.)

“We were all doing well at Uptown Market until they closed it. Now, only about 300 out of the some 1,000 vendors may sell their products at the new market. This is a big problem for us,” they said, referring to the public market pushed by the Tarlac City local government unit (LGU).

“Besides, the market pushed by the Tarlac City LGU is not fit as a public market. It is small. The roof is low and there is no proper drainage system causing foul odor,” they said.

Last month, the Pollution Adjudication Board (PAB) issued a cease and desist order against PALIPARAN for violation of the Republic Act 9275 or the “Philippine Clear Water Act of 2004.” The order was implemented last October 13.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in a letter to Tarlac City Mayor Maria Cristina Angeles dated October 19 and obtained last November 6, stressed that the power to shut down the market was on the LGU and not the DENR. They were reacting to the Facebook post of the Tarlac City LGU stating that the DENR-PAB shut down the Uptown Market.

In the same letter, the DENR urged the Tarlac City LGU to help the PALIPARAN comply with existing laws.

“Thus, while PALIPARAN (lessee) assumed the obligation to comply with existing laws, rules and regulations of the Local and National Government relative to market and sanitation, the Government (Lessor) has the obligation to provide assistance that may be needed for securing the permits and licenses necessary for the renovation, rehabilitation and operation of the Leased Premises. In this regard, this Office maintains that PALIPARAN (operator) and the Government (owner) must work together for the implementation of a Comprehensive Pollution Control Program pursuant to RA 9275 and in accordance with their respective contractual obligations,” said the letter signed by
DENR Regional Director Wilson L. Trajeco.