Labella orders probe on vendors selling night market stalls to private individuals
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella has ordered an investigation into the alleged selling of night market stalls to private individuals.
Labella said that this was an insult to the city government for exerting an effort to make sure that sidewalk vendors are given a place to sell their wares and earn for their respective families.
“Mao gani gihimo nato ang night market aron mahatagan og gahum ang mga displaced vendors nga makabaligyag balik, ibaligya na nuon nila ilang rights,” said the mayor.
(We opened the night market to give displaced vendors a place to sell and they end up selling their rights.)
Reports have reached the office of the mayor that some city registered vendors have started selling the rights to their assigned stalls to private individuals for a fee ranging from P15, 000 to P20, 000 per month or 12 times more than the city government lease of P1, 2000 per month.
Labella admitted that he is very disappointed with the outcome of the city’s night market program. He reminded vendors that reports of abuses was also the reason why he ordered the suspension of the night market in August.
It was allowed to resume on December 1 after Labella met with vendors to clarify vending regulations.
Labella said he is dismayed that “abuses” continued despite his threat to order the permanent closure of their stalls.
Vendors caught selling their stalls will already be disqualified from selling at the night market or along city streets, he said.
The investigation which Labella ordered will include looking into the possible involvement of some City Hall employees in the illegal transaction.
“Corrupt people do not have a place at the City Hall,” Labella said.
Jonil Matuguina, Cebu City Market Authority head, said they already identified some vendors who were among those who sold their stalls to private individuals.
But their initial information will still be subject to verification and further investigation. Concerned vendors will also be asked to explain their side before they will impose sanctions on them.
Maria Pino, head of the Cebu City Vendors Association (CCUVA), said that she will be calling a meeting with her members to discuss the matter.
Pino said that they do not tolerate misbehavior by their members while she also gave the assurance that anyone caught for the violation will lose their membership with their organization.
“Dili gyod na maayo ilang gibuhat. (What they are doing is wrong),” said Pino. / dcb
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