Carbon vendors, eatery owner worry about life during Cebu City’s ECQ

By: Alven Marie A. Timtim - Reporter/CDN Digital | March 29,2020 - 09:33 PM

Rommel Rosito (right, wearing dark blue sleeveless shirt) and his fellow Carbon Public Market vendors are seen at the  market a few hours before the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) of Cebu City on Saturday, March 28, 2020. | CDND Photo / Alven Marie A. Timtim

CEBU CITY, Philippines — It has been about 24 hours since the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) has been implemented in Cebu City, and a few hours more before it will be applied in the whole of Cebu province.

While others have started to settle in their homes, worrying less on where to get their food, some people like Gilbert Cogay, a fish vendor; Milagrosa Sumagaysay, a small eatery owner; and Rene Rosito, a Carbon Public Market stall owner; are still out on the streets, struggling to think what next steps to take that would lead them to still successfully earn enough to feed for their family.

For Cogay, 41, from Barangay Duljo Fatima, he has no choice but to stop selling for a few days not only because he has yet to claim his quarantine pass, but because the supply of fish has been limited these days.

Read more: BREAKING: Cebu City closes its borders

Read more: What to expect as Cebu province closes borders, enters ECQ

Since the government had issued orders limiting the movements of the public as preventive measures to fight COVID-19, Cogay admitted their way of livelihood was also affected since a  lesser supply of fish also meant lesser buyers, which would result to lesser earnings.

Cogay, who has been a fish vendor for 20 years now, has to work harder now that there seems to be limited resources due to the crisis with COVID-19.

Gilbert Cogay, 41, a Barangay Duljo Fatima, Cebu City resident and a fish vendor for 20 years, says the restrictions put in place by the city has affected the fish supply. | Alven Marie A. Timtim

“Nabalaka gyud mi. May unta og mahuman na ni og dali. Mosunod lang gyud mi sa gobyerno kay dala sad sa pag ampo unta dili na ni magdugay,” said Cogay.

(I am worried about our fate. We hope that this crisis would be over soon. We will just have to follow the government and continue to pray that this crisis will soon be over.)

Read more: A Cebu City resident’s guide to getting a green quarantine pass

But Cogay said that as soon as he would be able to get his quarantine pass, he would immediately go back to selling fish and would do his best to find other things that he could do to earn money for his wife and four-year-old daughter.

Meanwhile, Sumagaysay, 58, a resident of Barangay Lahug, Cebu City, and  an eatery owner for 21 years, is more worried for the renters beside her stall if she decides to close her karenderya for the meantime.

She said some of the renters were her avid customers and these renters would often eat in her eatery because they already had a bond.

But she said that due to the limited movements as required by the government, she might have a hard time going to the market to buy her supplies.

There might be a closer market and grocery store, but she said she doubted that it would be able to sustain the other people in Barangay Lahug and other neighboring barangays who would also get their supply from these establishments.

However, Sumagaysay said she might eventually push on keeping her eatery open as this would be her way to help the community.

She said she would find other ways if her supplies would run out.

Milagrosa Sumagaysay, 58, a Barangay Lahug resident and an eatery owner for 21 years, says she is worried about the renters near her stall, who have been her avid customers as the ECQ starts.| Alven Marie A. Timtim

“Basta follow lang gyud ta para sa atoang kaayohan ra man pud ni dili lang ta magpanic” said Sumagysay.

(We should follow the rules because these are for our own good and we should also not panic.)

On the other hand, Rosito, who lives in Barangay Ermita and a vegetable and food products vendor for 22 years, supports the government’s actions.

He said they would continue to practice constant washing of hands and disinfecting, and they would make sure that their area would always be clean before and after they would open it.

“Wala ra may problema, maayo man ni ilahang government protocols,” said Rosito.

(It’s not a problem. Their protocols are good.)

But he said he saw a “gap” with the resolutions done by the government as they seemed to forget to consider the poor vendors of Carbon Public Market.

According to Rosito, with all the limited movements, the most affected people are those who are poor including the poor vendors, who may soon be experiencing a deficit in their earnings.

“Unta makita ni nga gap sa gobyerno kay basi unya mao ni ang hinungdan sa kagubot sa tawo,” said Rosito.

(I hope that they can see this gap because these might cause trouble among the people.)

But since the policy had been drafted and implemented, Rosito said they would follow as it would still be made from the thought of keeping the whole Cebuanos safe.

Cogay, Sumagaysay and Rosito, all agreed that the policy of the government was done to ensure they would be protected from the current problem related to COVID-19.

However, since the three of them had their own responsibilities and roles to fulfil, they would find other ways to make it through this tough times./dbs

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