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Heat, lack of gov’t support killing businesses in city market

TARLAC CITY, Tarlac (May 1, 2024) — Extreme heat and lack of city government support are killing businesses in the local public market here.

It’s Labor Day and yet the atmosphere in the RUA-managed public market reminds you of Good Friday as workers sleep it off on top of meat stalls.

Tarlac City Meat Vendors Association vice president Tess Salvador and secretary Cristy Tañedo air their frustrations about the lack of city government assistance to the issues vendors are having at the RUA market.
Tarlac City Meat Vendors Association vice president Tess Salvador and secretary Cristy Tañedo air their frustrations about the lack of city government assistance to the issues vendors are having at the RUA market.

Newly-elected Meat Vendors Association (MVA) officers also lament the mismanagement of the RUA public market.

“Konti ang namimili dito dahil malayo sa sentro ng bayan at walang maayos na parking. Naniningil sila ng hanggang P10 bawat sasakyan pero hindi naman makakapag-park dahil hindi maayos dito sa loob,” Cristy Tañedo, MVA Secretary, said.

Tarlakenyo asked RUA management’s Jojo Esquillo about the issue raised but declined to comment. Esquillo said that he does not know how many parking spaces are there in the RUA market.

EXTREME HEAT
Several ambulant vendors also complained about the extreme heat that is contributing to the already sluggish business in their location.

“Kung noon kumikita kami ng P500 sa isang araw, ngayon swerte na kung may P100 kaming kita,” said a vegetable seller.

“Nasisira ang mga paninda naming mga gulay at prutas dahil sa sobrang init,” another ambulant vendor chipped in.

The heat in the meat section of the RUA market has been an issue for the stall owners since November 2022 when they first moved in. This is now compounded by the forty-degree heat that the province of Tarlac has been experiencing.

“Mababa ang bubungan ng stalls dito sa RUA kaya mas madling masira ang mga paninda. Kahit anong gawin namin ay pangit na ang itsura ng mga karne bago magtanghali,” a meat vendor said.

This was seconded by Tess Salvador, Vice President of the MVA.

“Mababa, mainit. Wala man lang dagdag na pangharang sa araw ngayong tag-init. Walang pakialam ang management ng RUA,” Salvador said.

BANKRUPT
“Mahina ang kita namin dito sa RUA. Dati kumikita ako ng hanggang P60,000 sa Paliparan stall pero dito maswerte na kung may P15,000,” a rice trader who declined to be identified said.

One former vendor said that he now just drives a tricycle because of the slow business.

“Mahinang-mahina ang bentahan dito at hindi na ako makakapaghintay na magutom pa ang pamilya ko kaya nag-tricycle driver na lang ako,” said the former vendor, who asked not to be named.

Both Salvador and Tañedo said that they know several meat vendors who shuttered their businesses.

“Marami kaming mga kasamahan dati dito sa meat section ang na-bankrupt at nagsara na ng kanilang mga pwesto,” the MVA officials said.

WHERE IS MCA?
According to Tañedo, they met with the City Economic Enterprise Management Office (CEEMO) and the RUA market management this week at the city hall to discuss the ongoing issues in the market.

“Inaasahan namin na sana ay mabigyan ng magandang solusyon ng CEEMO ang aming mga problema dito,” Tañedo said.

The MVA asked the CEEMO if they could do something about the low-roofed market and address the traffic in and around the market.

“Gusto sana namin na diretso ang pakikipag-usap namin kay Mayor Cristy at hindi ipninababahala sa mga tao lamang niya,” Tañedo added.

Tarlakenyo has reached out to the City Information Office for comments but has yet to receive a response as of this writing. We will update this story when we hear from the CIO.

Ronald Dizon
Ronald Dizon
Ronald was correspondent for several Philippine dailies and weeklies a score of years ago and was editor of a South Pacific paper. He still writes for this online news service and several local weeklies. If he's not busy, you might catch him online on cnc.net playing that godawful old game. "Aaaa kakakaka!!!!!"
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