PROBE: Colon and Osmeña Blvd vendors cannot return to old spots

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio October 02,2019 - 04:38 PM

A consultative meeting was held at the Plaza Sugbo by the Cebu City government for the displaced sidewalk vendors in Cebu City on Oct. 2, 2019. The city plans to regulate sidewalk vending in designated areas. | CDN Digital Photo/ Delta Dyrecka Letigio

CEBU CITY — The Cebu City Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification, and Enhancement (PROBE) team said that vendors from Colon Street and Osmeña Boulevard cannot return to their original spots despite the earlier pronouncement of Mayor Edgardo Labella that the vendors misunderstood to have allowed them back to the city’s sidewalks.

PROBE head Racquel Arce said that Mayor Edgardo Labella’s previous statement actually meant that the vendors from Osmeña Boulevard and Colon Street can go back to selling their products but they will be relocated and regulated.

Read more: Labella: City Hall to allow, regulate sidewalk vending

As for other areas such as Sanciangko, B. Rodriguez, Jakosalem Streets, the vendors will be regulated since there are still no relocation site for them.

Arce said they cannot let the vendors return to the three main streets in Cebu City, Colon, Osmeña Boulevard, and Natalio Bacalso Highway because these were the specific streets the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) wanted the city to clear.

The assessment of DILG will end on October 5, 2019, and Arce said these streets have to be maintained if the city aims to pass the assessment. Failing the assessment would mean administrative charges against Mayor Labella.

Read more: DILG Usec Densing: So far so good for Cebu City

“Dili na sila makabalik sa Colon ug Osmeña Boulevard, pero makatinda silag balik kay ibalhin man sila sa ubang lugar. (The vendors cannot go back to Colon Street and Osmenña Boulevard, but they will be able to sell again because they will be transferred to another area),” said Arce.

But the pronouncement of PROBE was different from the understanding of the vendors who attended the consultative meeting held at the Plaza Sugbo on Wednesday morning, October 2, 2019.

Most of the vendors said the thought they would be allowed to go back to Colon Street and Osmeña Boulevard after the DILG assessment on October 5. They said this was agreed upon after they allowed themselves to be regulated.

The vendors agreed that their stalls will be kept to a bare minimum of two-feet-by-two-feet and they will be placed in wider sidewalks where they will not obstruct the passage of pedestrians.

“Ang ingon sa amoa, makabalik gyud mi. Huwaton lang namo mahuman ang DILG nga inspection. (What PROBE told us is that we can go back. We just have to wait for the end of the DILG inspection),” said Linda, a 50-year-old streetfood vendor on Osmeña Boulevard.

Linda told CDN Digital that she had difficulties selling in the relocation site in Tabo sa Banay at F. Gonzales Street. She said there were too many competition and too few customers passing through the area.

She banked on the promise of PROBE that by October 6, she could go back to her original spot.

However, Arce said this would not be the case as all relocated vendors will remain in Tabo sa Banay and Senior Citizens Park. Other vendors yet to be displaced may be transferred to the markets in Cebu City that still have extra space.

“Nagcoordinate na ta sa atong Market Authority para mabalhin ang ubang vendors didto. (We have coordinated with the Market Authority to transfer the vendors there),” said Arce.

PROBE said that the clearing operation will temporarily slow down in the other streets of the city, and the vendors will be regulated, but soon they will have to transfer to the new sites. /elb




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TAGS: Cebu City Prevention, Cebu City Prevention Restoration Order Beautification and Enhancement Team (PROBE), Cebu City's sidewalk vendors, PROBE Team, relocation of sidewalk vendors

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