Clearing operations open more spaces for pedestrians on downtown Cebu’s sidewalks

By: Gerard Vincent Francisco August 16,2019 - 10:29 AM

CEBU CITY, Philippines—The sidewalks of downtown Cebu, especially on Colon Street, used to be site of a busy battle between pedestrians and street vendors.

Whatever narrow space was available near ageing buildings was occupied by vendors on both sides and the walking public at the center.

But a major change has been noticed on Cebu City’s sidewalks since late July 2019 as the Public, Restoration, Order, Beautification and Enhancement (PROBE) team led by Raquel Arce implemented a massive clean-up of the streets.

The clearing operations followed a memorandum circular issued by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on July 29, which directed all local chief executives to reclaim public roads which are privately used.

The memo also specifically instructed local chief executives to remove illegal structures and constructions from these roads.

From 300 vendors in downtown Cebu, the number has been reduced to 100 vendors.

Arce was earlier interviewed by CDN Digital saying that the 100 vendors are registered with Gugmang Alyansa Sumbanan sa Asenso (Gasa) since 2016.

The vendors selling their goods along Colon Street are residents of Cebu City, she said.

READ: PROBE: Only 100 vendors will be allowed on the sidewalks of Colon Street

At 9 a.m. on Friday, August 16, CDN Digital checked Colon Street and a portion of Osmeña Boulevard and saw several stalls were padlocked.

The sidewalks looked wider with the absence of street vendors selling items such as candies, socks and DVDs.

There were a couple of shoe repairmen at the building right across a major mall.

They did not have any physical stalls.

Junjun Ignaco, 35, says he now travels around the city to fix the shoes of his customers rather than having a physical stall on Colon street after the clearing operation was implemented.

But he still comes back to the same spot because his clients may come looking for him.

For now, the sidewalks are mostly cleared from vendors which gives more space for pedestrians.

However, the main question that many concerned citizens are asking is: “How long will this last?”

Here are more photos of the sidewalks on Colon Street after the clearing operations:

Stalls such as this one on the sidewalks of downtown Cebu are padlocked. They also bear the names of the owner, the time the stall is open and the goods sold. CDND PHOTO / Gerard Vincent Francisco

Downtown Cebu has spacious sidewalks after massive clearing operation was conducted in the area. CDND PHOTO / Gerard Vincent Francisco

Junjun Ignacio, 35, who works as a shoe repairman says he now travels around the city to fix his customers shoes instead of maintaining a physical stall. CDND PHOTO / Gerard Vincent Francisco

Look! No street vendors on this sidewalk. CDND PHOTO / Gerard Vincent Francisco

This is the intersection of Colon Street and Osmenña Boulevard on a busy weekday. CDND PHOTO/ Cris Evert Lato-Ruffolo

/ celr

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