Ambulant fish vendors outside the Unit 1 of Carbon Public Market have asked Barangay Ermita to allow them to sell in the area again.
Members of the Carbon Integrated Fish-Chicken Vendors Association (CIFVA) met with Ermita Barangay Captain Felicisimo “Imok” Rupinta yesterday morning at the barangay sports complex to relay their request.
Although Rupinta initially agreed to let them sell again, he had at least two conditions — first, that the group re-elects their officers, and to make sure that their selling area is always clean and free from foul odor, which has been the subject of complaint by some residents nearby.
“Nihangyo mi nga makabalik mi paninda. Pero iya gusto nga ilisan ang president kay wa siya kauyon nako. Wala na lang ko nireklamo kay samok na,” said CIFVA’s former president Ma. Joy Geonzon.
(We requested to be allowed to sell again. But Rupinta wants to change the president of the association because he does not like me. I did not complain to avoid problems.)
Their former vice president, Virgelio Berzaldo, is their new president.
CIFVA has around 30 members. The vendors have been complaining on loss of income since they were not allowed to sell at the back of Unit 1 of Carbon market since August when they had a rift with barangay officials and barangay tanods.
The vendors complained that the barangay allegedly tried to confiscate their goods and clear their stalls when they refused to pay a “voluntary fee” to the barangay upon the advice of City Hall’s market authority.
The incident in August brought up problems regarding the barangay’s collection of a P10 voluntary contribution from ambulant vendors in Carbon market.
Cebu City Hall earlier slammed the collection as illegal and threatened to file cases against Ermita. They even threatened to let the police arrest barangay personnel who continue to do the collection.
But apparently, City Hall’s threats have not materialized as Rupinta said they have not stopped doing the voluntary collection since August.
“Nahilom naman na nga issue. Nakahibaw man ang mayor nga legal na. Naay barangay ordinance ana nga approved sa City Council (The issue has died down. The mayor knows that it is legal. There is a barangay ordinance on that which was approved by the City Council),” Rupinta said.
As to the conditions, he pointed out that the reason why the vendors were cleared last August was because of a petition from some residents near the area who complained about the garbage and foul odor left by the vendors every day.
This is why he said he asked for the assurance from the vendors that they will regularly clean their spots and make sure that their garbage are disposed properly.
He also asked the vendors to follow and cooperate with the barangay’s rules and regulations.
The vendors are set to sign an undertaking with the barangay regarding these conditions.
Rupinta said he will then consult the undertaking with those residents who submitted the petition against the vendors. If they also agree, then that’s the time the vendors can return to sell in the area.