Sidewalk vendors to Cebu City gov’t, DILG: Don’t deprive us of livelihood
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Vendors are asking the Cebu City government and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to allow them to continue to occupy the city’s sidewalks.
Maria Pino, chairperson of the Cebu City United Vendors Association (CCUVA), said that DILG’s order for clearing of all streets and main thoroughfares in the country can still be complied with even if the city government will allow vendors to continue to occupy the sidewalks.
Pino said they can work with the Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification, and Enhancement (PROBE) Team to ensure compliance with City Hall regulations to ensure that their occupancy of the sidewalks will remain orderly. This includes the need to reduce the sizes of their stalls to only two by three feet wide while they will only be allowed to sell for 12 hours daily.
“Kung imong tan-awon ang among mga stalls, wala na gyod na nagsamok sa sidewalks. Wala mi nilapas sa dalan. Wala mi ning obstruct sa mga agianan. Among hangyo, dili nalang mi papahawaon,” said Pino.
(If you look at our stalls now, we are no longer obstructing the sidewalks. We no longer sell on the streets. We no longer obstruct the walkways. We are asking the government to allow us to continue to sell on the sidewalks.)
Pino and at least 100 CCUVA members marched to City Hall on Tuesday morning, September 24, hoping to seek an audience with Mayor Edgardo Labella and make an appeal that they be allowed to sell on the sidewalks of Colon Street, Osmeña Boulevard and B. Rodriguez Street among others.
Lawyer Jose “Joey” Daluz III, the special assistant to the mayor, met with the vendors to hear their concerns.
Vendors pointed out during their dialog that the DILG’s order to have all roads cleared of obstruction does not include the clearing of sidewalks. They also assured the city government that they will adhere to the city’s “no vending on the streets” policy.
The group also asked Labella to retract an earlier order for the PROBE Team to rid the city’s sidewalks of vendors.
“Ayaw pud intawon mi kuhai ug panginabuhian,” Pino said.
(Please don’t deprive us of livelihood.)
Daluz told vendors of Mayor Labella’s plan to build a market tenement where sidewalk vendors can be relocated.
But the vendors said they do not wish to be relocated to the planned tenements because this will deprive them of sales. They said that their target buyers are the people walking on city streets.
Daluz replied that while the city government would want to keep the sidewalks vendors, they also have to comply with the DILG order for the clearing of city streets to avoid possible legal repercussions.
He promised to facilitate a meeting between the sidewalk vendors and Secretary Michael Dino, the Presidential Assistant to the Visayas.
“The city cannot do anything about the DILG mandate, but Secretary Dino can. Maybe if Secretary Dino can hear the concerns of the vendors, he can relay to the DILG the real situation of Cebu City,” said Daluz.
Vendors were set to meet Dino on Tuesday afternoon.. /dcb
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