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Vendor 'maltreatment'

Rama: Absence of concrete solution for displaced vendors is the root of the problem

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - CDN Digital | November 22,2019 - 06:11 PM

The video of vendor in A. Soriano Avenue who was allegedly maltreated by operatives of the Prevention, Restoration, Order, and Beautification (PROBE) on November 21, 2019, went viral on line causing an outrage from netizens. | Screenshot from the video of Joseph Deriada

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael “Mike” Rama said that the plight of the many displaced vendors from the streets without a concrete solution from the city may be the reason why some vendors are forced to roam the streets to sell their goods.

This was his statement after a video of a vendor being apprehended violently by operatives of the Prevention, Restoration, Order and Enhancement (PROBE) team went viral online.

In the video, PROBE personnel were seen allegedly maltreating a vendor selling fruits along A. Soriano Street on Thursday afternoon, November 21, 2019.

In a phone interview with CDN Digital, Rama said that this incident shows that without a proper relocation for the displaced vendors, some of them will try to work around the law simply to survive.

There are still at least 300 displaced vendors around the city who have yet to be relocated a month after a  clearing operations was conducted in accordance to the mandate of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to clear streets and sidewalks from obstructions.

At least 250 vendors were relocated at P. Burgos Street, now known as Tabo sa Banay.

Rama said the city’s executive department has to find a long-term solution to the vendors’ problem because if the present situation continues, this may cause more disturbance in the streets.

“If the PROBE becomes too strict, I am afraid this will result in violence. If we continue to deprive these vendors of a place to make a living, they will find a way. We cannot blame them,” Rama said.

“They should not be treated inhumanely. That (actions of PROBE operatives) was inhuman,” added Rama, who also said Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella should step in and find a solution to this problem.

Opposition Councilor Alvin Dizon, meanwhile, said vendors should not be treated with violence as they are simply making an “honest living.”

“Street vendors do not deserve our castigation. They deserve our recognition. Reaching out to them should not be mistaken as tolerating their transgressions,” he said.

“It simply is the means to harness their creative potentials to contribute to the well-being of our city. Negotiation is not leniency but is a recognition that each side to an issue can contribute to its resolution,” said Dizon.

Dizon said he already reached out to the mayor because of the incident. He said the vendors should not have to suffer more than they already do following their displacement. /bmjo

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TAGS: Cebu City, maltreatment, PROBE, Vendor

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