BAGUIO CITY – The city government will reopen the night market this week with an improved and stricter system in complying with health and safety protocols.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong on Monday assured a balance between economic activity and compliance with the guidelines to assure public safety in this time of the pandemic.
“Hopefully this week ma-open ko na rin ang night market and definitely everyone going there will have to wear mask and shield. Pag-uusapan namin ulit ngayon kung paano yung pinaka-effective na scheme, na concept para ma-maintain natin ang social distancing (We hope to open the night market this week and everyone must wear mask and shield. We will also discuss now the best scheme to maintain social distancing),” Magalong said.
The number of stalls would be reduced to 30 percent from the original 1,067 stalls on the whole stretch of one side of Harisson Road. To accommodate all the original sellers, they will sell alternately in different weeks to give everyone a chance to earn during the holiday season, Magalong said.
“Our vendors also need to earn especially its Christmas,” Magalong said.
Entry and exit points at the night market will also be controlled even as the vendors themselves committed to observe and help implement the safety protocols inside the venue.
Food sellers will be situated in the parking area, with a separate space for diners.
Police and members of the city’s public order and safety division will be deployed to oversee compliance to the wearing of mask and face shield and observance of social distancing.
Earlier this month, the city government was criticized for the breach of health protocols during the resumption of night market activities last Dec. 1 which coincided with the opening of the Christmas celebration in Baguio.
“It was unfortunate that with the excitement of everybody to see many people, they forgot to perform their roles and only saw the opportunity to sell. But this time, we assure it will not be repeated,” Magalong said.
This prompted Magalong to suspend the operation of the night market and refine the strategies.
Magalong said the city, like any other local government unit, is learning to cope with the new normal and continues to do a balancing act between reopening the economy and protecting the people from the virus.
“This is part of the healing process wherein people are looking for normalcy. We can only do better next time,” he said. (PNA)