Night Market in Paranaque is a go

The proposed night market of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is now a go after Paranaque City Mayor Florencio Bernabe, Jr. Jr. agreed to pilot-test the project in Baclaran.

MMDA Chairman Oscar Inocentes said the city government of Paranaque, as the designated lead agency, will run and manage the nighttime flea market, which is initially being eyed to be put up either in Redemptory’s Road or along the Paranaque side of the Baclaran service road.

The idea of a night market was considered to allow vendors, especially those coming from depressed areas, proper vending areas but at the same time the orderliness and traffic efficiency in the area will be maintained.

Bernabe said the night market will be a potential tourist spot as in the case of similar night markets in other countries.

Inocentes conveyed his gratitude to Bernabe’s positive response to the MMDA’s proposal, which he said is a good result of constant dialogues and close coordination of the MMDA and the local government units.

“Everything could be accomplished through peaceful dialogue,” the MMDA chief said.

Bernabe agreed to the project after a meeting with the representatives of Inocentes composed of MMDA General Manager Robert Nacianceno, Traffic Operations Center (TOC) Executive Director Angelito Vergel De Dios and Eduardo Franco of the Roadway/Sidewalk Clearing Operations Group.

Based on the initial agreement, the Baclaran night market will operate from 6 pm until 6 am. Vendors will be allowed to put up stalls or tents, which they will dismantle the following morning.

So as not to hamper traffic in the area, at least two lanes of the road will remain open to vehicular traffic throughout the night. The city government and the MMDA will designate parking areas for shoppers.

On the other hand, the bus terminal in front of the Redemptorist Church will be transferred a few meters from its present place as requested by Bernabe and the parish priest of the Redemptorist Church. This will allow for more parking spaces.

The Paranaque mayor is also requesting the MMDA to put up a footbridge across Roxas Boulevard in case the night market will be placed on the other side of the Redemptorist Church.

“What we will first do is clear up the area of all obstructions. We will be careful not to cause traffic problems so we will have traffic enforcers there possibly until midnight,” Inocentes said.

As to the rental fees to be charged to the vendors, the city government and the MMDA will soon come up with detailed guidelines in the operation of the night market, he added.

Inocentes also stressed that the MMDA will conduct dialogues with the Redemptorist Church, non-government organizations, and other stakeholders in Baclaran, especially the legitimate business establishments and the local vendors’ associations.

The MMDA proposed the night market project in consideration of the sidewalk vendors that have been displaced by the agency’s clearing operation in Baclaran, which came up after the expiration of the moratorium on demolition the MMDA imposed in the month of December.

The agency is also looking for other areas throughout Metro Manila where similar night market will be put up in coordination with the concerned LGU.

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