Vendors plea: Make ordinance regulating street vendors friendly
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The street vendors associations in Cebu City gathered outside the Cebu City Hall on Tuesday afternoon, February 4, 2020, calling for the passage of an ordinance institutionalizing and regulating street vendors in the city through a vendor’s council.
Inside the session hall, the vendors’ representatives plead to the council to pass the ordinance proposed by Councilor Jerry Guardo, and give them a chance to sell again.
The vendors were among the 500 displaced in the October 2019 clearing operations conducted by the city in line with the directives of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Guardo’s proposed ordinance would have all these vendors registered to the city and regulated in their respected areas, follow rules set by the city government, and be represented through the Vendors Association Council (VAC).
Maria Pino, the president of the Cebu City United Vendors Association Inc. (CCuvai), said the proposed ordinance must be more friendly to the vendors. She said that vendors must be allowed to sell outside their barangays as long as they are Cebu City residents.
The proposed ordinance of Guardo only allowed vendors to sell in their resident barangays.
“Unsaon nalang ming taga Labangon, Mambaling nga namaligya sa Carbon? Hatagi sad ta mig gahum makabaligya,” said Pino.
(What about us from Labangon, Mambaling? Please give us a chance to sell beyond our barangays.)
For Erwin Goc-ong, the president of the Cebu Market Vendors Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Cemvedco), the ordinance is favorable, but the ambient or street vendors must not compete with the market vendors.
“Dapat mofollow gihapon sila sa rules sa atong market. (The street vendors should follow the rules of the market),” said Goc-ong in session.
Goc-ong also said the VAC must have representatives from the Department of Public Services, the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro), and the academe.
Ernie Pardillo, the head of the enforcement team of the Market Authority, agreed with Goc-ong that the street vendors must not compete with the market vendors and should have their own space and regulations.
The Market Authority also said the VAC must coincide with the Gasa program of the city government, which started in 2013 and where vendors were registered officially to the city government.
The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) gave a favorable response to the ordinance of Guardo, but asked that the space provided to the vendors should not block the streets posing danger to motorists nor the sidewalks for pedestrians to pass easily.
Felix Taguiam, the vice president for finance of the CCCI, said that vendors should be kept away from main thoroughfares and at least a 500-meter radius away from malls.
This did not sit well with the vendors as Pino said there are many malls in the city and 500 meters or half a kilometer would push away the vendors too far from commerce.
“Maabot tawn mi sa Babag ana. (We would end up in the mountain Barangay Babag in that case),” said Pino.
She said that vendors may be given space with a certain distance from malls but not too far as this would make things difficult for them.
Councilor Guardo said the public hearing results showed that there is a need for more dialogue in order to settle differences between the street vendors and other stakeholders.
He said he wants the final draft of the ordinance to be specific in its regulations and considerate to all stakeholders.
Yet at the end of the day, the ordinance would seek to protect the ambient or street vendors of the city, and their welfare in line with the laws of the land will be the priority in the ordinance. /rcg
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