Bacolod Councilor Celia Flor, City Administrator Pacifico Maghari III and City Legal Officer Romeo Carlos Ting Jr. (l-r) inspecting the Manokan County on Monday, August 8.*CPG photo
The Bacolod Joint Market Inspection Team conducted a surprise inspection on Monday, August 8, of the Manokan Country, whose occupants along with those of the three main public markets have rent arrears totaling P34 million.
Bacolod Councilor Celia Flor, Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Markets and Slaughterhouse chair, said they conducted the surprise inspection to see how the city can improve the Manokan Country, ensure compliance of the Sanitation Code and find a solution to occupants’ arrears in rent.
Flor said one establishment had already encroached into an area where a park put up by the Lions Club used to be, kitchens of the restaurants need to be improved to protect customers, and a cleanup of the area and declogging of drainages must be undertaken.
A payment scheme for arrears in rent also needs to be established, she said.
Flor was accompanied by City Administrator Pacifico Maghari III and City Legal Officer Romeo Carlos Ting Jr. and other members of the Market Inspection Team.
The delinquent rentals of 17 lessees at the Manokan County as of June was P8,642,577, Ting said, pointing out that rental for each restaurant space is at P2,250.75 a month.
Delinquent payments at the Central Market total P4.6 million, Burgos Market – P11.2 million and Libertad Market – P9.6 million, Maghari said, adding that restructuring of payments and amnesty are being considered.
Maghari said that majority of the occupants at the Manokan Country had no business permits.
He said Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez issued Executive Order No. 008 Series of 2022 creating the Joint Market Inspection Team headed by the City Legal Officer with the City Treasurer, Business Permit and Licensing Officer, Market Supervisor, City Health Officer, Bacolod City Police superintendent, and Office of the Building Official head as members for a holistic approach to addressing market concerns.
The mayor ordered the inspection of the Manokan Country because it is a landmark tourist attraction that must be safe for visitors and the consuming public, Maghari said.
He said establishments encroaching into city spaces that are not part of their lease will be issued notices to clear the area, and those with other violations will also be issued notices.
David Montoya, Manokan Country Vendors Association president, in a meeting with the Joint Market Inspection Team asked for the opportunity to pay their arrears without penalties.*