Manila, Manila — Public market vendors united as one group under SAMPAL to mark September 14, 2015 a market holiday to protest the implementation of the Joint Venture Agreement (J.V. Ordinance) that would pave the way for the privatization of 17 public markets.

The Save Manila Public Market Alliance (SAMPAL sa Privatization), a Manila-wide organization of public market cooperatives, hawkers and ambulant vendors, highlighted their opposition to the privatization of Manila markets as this entails higher rent fees and uncertainty of relocation sites while the project is being implemented.

The J.V. Ordinance is entered into by and between the City of Manila and XRC Mall Developers, Inc., with the aim of redeveloping, operating, and managing the existing public markets in Manila.

Joining the holiday are Sampaloc Market, San Andres Market, Sta. Ana Market, Trabajo Market, and the market vendors of Quinta Market, whose stalls were demolished without undergoing due process on July 27, 2015.

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Stall vendors outside these markets also expressed solidarity with fellow vendors, as they marched together to the Manila City Hall despite the threats of police arrests from Mayor Joseph Estrada.

The implementation of the said ordinance was approved without the consent of the vendors from the public markets who were invited in previous consultations, but were not allowed to express their dissent. The ratification of the J.V. Ordinance, according to market vendors, marks the city government’s intent to put them on the list of markets to be demolished after the Market.

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