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Vacant lot near SRP eyed for displaced vendors

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio February 07,2020 - 02:30 PM

If plans will carry, the displaced vendors, who ended up being given a spot at the night market, will have a place to sell their products at a South Road Property lot near the Compania Maritima. | CDN file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City government is considering a vacant lot near the South Road Properties (SRP) as the relocation area for the ambient vendors in the city. 

Jonil Matuguina, City Market Authority head, revealed that the lot beside the historic Compania Maritima building may be a viable site to transfer the vendors displaced in the October 2019 road clearing operations. 

The road and sidewalk clearing was a mandate of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and affected more than 500 vendors in the city. 

Read more: Labella: Night market can operate until end of February then …

Matuguina said that most of the displaced vendors were either in Tabo sa Banay or selling at the Night Market in Colon Street. 

However, the night market is still under assessment until the end of February after Mayor Edgardo Labella has extended the night market from January 31 to February 29.

The vendors may yet lose their spots if the city government decides to close the night market for good. 

The extension was given to the vendors as they promised to follow the city’s rules in the operation of the night market. 

“We may suggest the night market to be open only seasonally because we noticed, and the also vendors noticed, that they do not have much profit at the night market anymore after the Sinulog ended,” said Matuguina. 

With this, there is a necessity to find a new spot for the 300 vendors still operating at the night market. 

Matuguina said the lot beside the Compania Maritima was already good for commerce as the recent development of a line of restaurants in the area had brought in customers in the lot. 

This would also mean more customers for the vendors who may be moved to the area. 

Read more: Vendors plea: Make ordinance regulating street vendors friendly

“The city government is still negotiating for the lot. Aside from that, we are also looking into other options,” said the Market Authority head. 

He said Mayor Edgardo Labella was determined to provide a safer, more permanent space for the city’s ambient vendors. 

Recently, Vice Mayor Michael Rama had also suggested building a structure for the vendors equipped with the facilities for persons with disabilities. 

Rama said the structure must be open to all vendors in a rotational basis so all of the vendors would be given a chance to sell. 

The suggestion of the mayor has been okayed by President Rodrigo Duterte in their meeting on January 28, 2020 in Malacañang.\dbs

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