PROBE: Only 100 vendors will be allowed on the sidewalks of Colon Street
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Clearing operations implemented by Cebu City’s Public Restoration, Order, Beautification, and Enhancement (PROBE) team on downtown Cebu City has managed to reduce the number of street vendors selling in the area from around 300 to only about a hundred.
PROBE head Raquel Arce said that the vendors who remained in the area are those registered with the Gugmang Alyansa Sumbanan sa Asenso (Gasa) since 2016.
All of the 100 vendors that sell along Colon Street are Cebu City residents, she added.
The around 200 vendors, who were no longer allowed to sell, may have already returned to the countryside or to their homes in neighboring localities, said Arce.
PROBE has been implementing clearing operations of public markets and sidewalks in Cebu City since the assumption of Mayor Edgardo Labella on July 1 to bring order to public places. Clearing operations are also in compliance with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to restore public roads.
Arce said that they will allow the 100 Cebu City vendors to remain on the sidewalks because they belong to a city registered organization. Their registration binds them to follow the city’s regulation on street vending or face suspension of their registration.
One of the more important regulations that they will have to comply with is the need for them to stay within the demarcation lines set by PROBE. These are the red and white painted lines that marks the three feet area that street vendors should occupy.
Vendors, Arce said, are barred from using large umbrellas or tents that could obstruct the sidewalks. They are also discouraged from using flammable items like liquefied petroleum gas and butane, the bringing more than one cool box and sharing their assigned stalls with other vendors.
Arce said that vendors are also prohibited from bringing their children to their assigned stalls.
Violators will be penalized with a suspension of their vending rights for a week for the first offense and two weeks for the second offense. A three week suspension will be imposed on those who will violate the city’s regulations the third time.
“If more offenses are incurred, the violating vendor will no longer be allowed to sell in the city’s sidewalks” Arce said.
While PROBE monitors the vendors’ occupancy of Colon Street sidewalks, Arce is also asking the public to be vigilant and immediately report any wrong doings that they would notice from sidewalk vendors.
“We really need the help of the public to monitor these vendors because we cannot monitor all (of those selling in) Colon all (at) the time,” she said.
After putting order to Colon Street, Arce said their next target is a portion of Osmeña Bouelvard, from the corner of Colon Street to Plaza Independencia.
This early, Arce is also asking vendors who occupy the sidewalk here to already cease from vending before PROBE will start to confiscate the items that they sell./dcb
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