Joy Belmonte: Who’s ‘private organizer’ collecting fees from vendors?

Loreben Tuquero
Joy Belmonte: Who’s ‘private organizer’ collecting fees from vendors?
(UPDATED) 200 vendors pay at least P480,000 a month to a company whose administrator could not present a contract nor an updated business permit

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) –  At a makeshift market under the Luzon flyover, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte discovered that around 200 vendors pay P80-P150 to a private company every day.

The amount amounts to at least P16,000 a day and P480,000 a month. (READ: #AngMahalNa: Additional fees, price increases burden Filipinos)

Gusto kong makita kung sino ang naniningil sa inyo. Ayaw kong pinagsasamantalahan kayo,” Belmonte told the vendors. (I want to know who is charging you. I don’t want them to take advantage of you.)

Belmonte summoned the company owner to city hall to present proof that what they are doing is legal, but they never came. Instead, it was discovered that they do not have a permit to operate a market.


LUZON Avenue flyover market in Quezon City. Photo from QC Public Affairs Department

Since then, the city government has taken over the market operations and is currently looking to secure a relocation site for the vendors, who now pay P10 to their leaders daily to maintain cleanliness.

In the meantime, the City Legal office is conducting an investigation and preparing a case against the private company.

Belmonte has been going around in line with the city’s clearing operations, which cover areas occupied by illegal vendors. She inspected and cleared flea markets with expired contracts and those that obstruct or encroach public roads and sidewalks.

She has also been on the lookout for potential spaces that can be developed into facilities such as public markets and parking spaces, in order to decongest areas in the city. – 

Loreben Tuquero

Loreben Tuquero is a researcher-writer for Rappler. Before transferring to Rappler's Research team, she covered transportation, Quezon City, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government as a reporter. She graduated with a communication degree from the Ateneo de Manila University.