Isko Moreno warns: Businesses without permits face closure

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Mayor Isko Moreno reminded business establishments on Wednesday, July 10, to make sure they had permits to operate in the city or risk closure.

Moreno issued the warning after he found out during an impromptu visit to Victory Mall located at the Lacson underpass that many businesses there were operating without permits from city hall. Moreno asked stall attendants to present their permits but was told it was with the mall's administration.

"It doesnt work that way. Business permits should be present in establishments, whether its 2x2, 4x4 or 100 sqm... Fair advice: lahat ng mall na matatagpuan namin na nagungupahan sa inyo ay walang business permit, pati mall niyo isasara ko (all malls we find to be renting out space to businessed without permits, we will close down even your mall)," Moreno said.

"You are coddling illegal vending or illegal transaction of business in your premises. You will be held liable," he added. (READ: A preview of 'Bagong Maynila'? Isko Moreno's first week in office)

Following the incident, Moreno tasked the city government to review records of the Commission on Audit to check which business establishments were operating without a permit. He appealed to businessed to immediately make sure they had permits, saying even small-time vendors paid for the fee.

"Buti pa vendor nagbabayad pa ng etneb – sila hindi, nasa mall. It doesnt make sense. Hindi ko maintindihan (Even the vendors manage to pay P20 fee – while those inside malls don't. It doesn't make sense. I don't understand.)," Moreno said.

Moreno said he would not close the business establishments right away but said they should consider his reminder as a warning to immediately secure permits. (READ: 'Wala nang mayor na natutulog sa Maynila' – Isko Moreno)

"The presumption is, immediately after you were told, you are going to follow. In the absence of that, you are now literally disobeying or maybe have no respect for the city government. Then you are not welcome in the city of Manila to do business," Moreno said. –

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at