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Vendors lament 400% rental hike

A group of vendors from Mintal Public market has appealed the city government to reconsider the proposed 400% increase of the market stall rental.

Almost a hundred members of the Mintal Public Market Stall Occupants, led by their president Eduardo Santander, sent a petition to Atty Zuleika Lopez, the City Administrator, on the said matter.

In the letter, Santander said the set 400% rental increase is slated to be implemented on October 1, 2019. He, however, did not disclose the exact amount of the increase.

“It is not our intention to evade the payment of the market stall rental. It is our duty as occupants to cut a small portion of our income to pay for the stall rental. But then the current increase in the rate is too much to bear,” Santander said.

He added that the increase of the rental fee is a burden as they “don’t realize big profits.”

“Our (income) is only enough for our daily sustenance. Further, the present economic crisis in the country has compounded very much to our sad flight, we would be amenable to so much increase if only our business do good,” he said.

He added that over the years, their income did not increase but the cost of living did.

Santander also emphasized that the government only provided them land but the stalls and other structures were from their own “personal loans with exorbitant interest.”

“Up to this time, we are still paying for the interest without even setting a part of the principal obligation,” he said.

Their appeal is for the city government to lower the increase of the rental fee of stalls.

“As much as we would like to pay the 400% rate increase but sad to say, we honestly cannot afford it. We would like to ask that the increase is only 50% of our actual rate,” Santander said.

Their request is now on the City Council’s Committee on Finance, Ways and Means and Appropriations.

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