Atienza says Erap’s plan to privatize public markets is ‘against the law’
Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - September 15, 2015 - 4:24am

MANILA, Philippines – Buhay Party-List Rep. Joselito “Lito” Atienza on Monday said Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada’s plan to sell 17 public markets in Manila is against the law.

“This is against the law. If Mayor Estrada insists his earlier stand to privatize the 17 public markets in Manila, he is violating the City Charter of Manila,” Atienza said in a press conference.

Atienza, former Manila mayor, also asked Estrada to reconsider his plan of privatizing the public markets in his jurisdiction, adding that Estrada’s move could be considered a baggage for him should he seek reelection as it contradicts his slogan/advocacy “Erap para sa mahihirap.”

“I appeal to Mayor Erap to reconsider his reported plans to privatize the city’s public markets. It is clearly against the City Charter and the Local Government Code because the operation of public markets is an essential, vital public service that should be provided by the local government and not by private corporations,” Atienza said.

The former mayor also reasoned out that poor families will affected since public market is the place where they could buy cheaper wet and dry goods.

“Masasakripisyo ang mga maninindang maliliit at ang mga mamimili. The operation and service of public markets is to provide affordable goods para sa mahihirap. Pag isinapribado, pag pinuhunanan nila 'yan, siguradong hindi na public market ang character n'yan, malamang ang renta n'yan ay hindi na P20 kundi P80 o baka P100 per square meter pa 'yan,” Atienza said.

Atienza also singled out Estrada’s pronouncement that Quinta market in Quiapo needs immediate rehabilitation because it is one of the oldest public markets, built 100 years ago in Manila.

”Kagaya ng Quinta Market na kanilang giniba. Hindi maaring sabihin na ito ay lumang luma na sapagkat ating ginastusan, inayos at pinaganda nung ating panunungkulan. You can repair the drainage and electrical systems pero wag nyo gibain para ibigay sa pribadong may-ari,” Atienza explained.

According to Atienza, he denounces the effort to rehabilitate and privatize the markets because it deprives the poor of one of their privileges.

“I would have to oppose this particular effort because it deprives the poor na ating pinangakuan, na ating tutulungan. Isa ako sa tumangkilik kay Mayor Erap sa nakaraang halalan sa pangakong tutulungan namin ang mga mahihirap. Subalit ang proyektong ito po ay magiging pahirap sa mahirap,” he added.

Atienza noted that about thousands of vendors in 17 public markets will lose their jobs, affecting their families that could lead to shifting of support to other candidates who will stand by the poor.

Last Monday, vendors of the 17 public markets gathered and went on a market holiday as a show of protest in the City of Manila government’s plan to sell and privatize the public markets.

ACIRC ATIENZA BUHAY PARTY-LIST REP CITY CHARTER AND THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE CITY CHARTER OF MANILA CITY OF MANILA ERAP IF MAYOR ESTRADA MARKETS MAYOR ERAP PUBLIC
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