Davao City to open more night markets

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 13 Dec) – The City Government of Davao will open more night markets to help create more opportunities for the small vendors and boost the local economy by spreading out business activities to other parts of the city, a councilor said.

The Roxas Night Market in Davao City. MindaNews photo by YAS D. OCAMPO

Third District Councilor Bernard Al-ag, chair of the committee on trade, commerce, and industry, said during the “One Davao: A Virtual Presser” streamed live over the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-Davao’s Facebook page on Monday that the local government seeks to expand the existing Roxas Night Market and open similar night markets in other parts of the city.

He said that they are eyeing to open night markets soon in Toril, Calinan, Mintal, Bunawan, Lanang, Marilog, and Paquibato.

The councilor said they approved last month the amendment to the existing ordinance on the night market, which seeks to expand the business model to other areas of the city.

Once signed by Mayor Sebastian Duterte, Al-ag said that the amended ordinance would strengthen the Tiangge sa Katawhan Management Team, giving it authority to open additional night markets in other locations, including the central business district and even in far-flung areas, where it is proper.

He said amendments include improvement in the necessary services, particularly security and sanitation.

Al-ag said the Public Safety and Security Command Center is mandated to secure all night markets, the City Environment and Natural Resources Office is tasked to manage the wastes, and the City Health Office is directed to monitor the food preparation to ensure the health safety of the customers.

He said only small vendors are qualified to secure slots in any night market.

“The amendments in the ordinance actually include lessons we have learned from the existing night market,” he added.

Al-ag said the amended ordinance charges vendors the same fee of P10 per square meter for every vendor.

He said the local government also encourages private sector-led night markets to create competition among local vendors.

“There are private night markets that would open and challenge Roxas Night Market. That is good for business because it’s better to have competition that will improve the services and the kind of food that we serve there in the existing night market,” the councilor said.

The Roxas Night Market reopened last March 24 after it was ordered closed at the height of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections here.

Around 500 vendors and massage therapists were displaced when the local government closed the night market on March 12, 2020, to avoid transmission of COVID-19.

It reopened on September 12, 2020, but was closed again two months later, on November 20, when COVID-19 cases surged beginning the third quarter of that year.

The Roxas Night Market was a popular destination for street food, ukay-ukay (used clothes) and street massage. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)