Rama: Involve Sto. Niño vendors in relocation talks
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama is urging the city’s executive department to involve the vendors in talks regarding the city’s plans to relocate them and their stalls away from the D. Jakosalem Street sidewalks beside the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.
Rama said this in response to the protest the Sto. Niño vendors conducted on Thursday, November 5, 2020, after their stalls were demolished from D. Jakosalem which “forced” them to transfer to smaller stalls they have to share.
As the Sinulog 2021 approaches, the vendors are asking that they be given “leeway” and be allowed to sell in their usual spots especially during the festival season.
“That is a very sensitive issue. Those vendors have long been there. Even before we wanted to house them, not relocate them, house them in a building so they can be comfortable,” said Rama.
The most important part of this processing according to the vice mayor is the cooperation of the vendors in their transfer to the new designated area.
Without encouraging them to help formulate the policies, the vendors will always try to appeal these especially if they are not comfortable with the regulations.
“Our goal is to make the lives of the poor better. That transfer is long overdue. They should be housed properly by now,” said Rama.
As for the city government, the Sto. Niño vendors will be allowed to sell during the Sinulog season at the old spot for the Devotee City.
Councilor Phillip Zafra said that instead of housing devotees on January 2021, the vendors will occupy the space so they will be properly set up with the health protocols in place.
The vendors already said they do not want to be transferred to the Devotee City as they want to be as close to the Basilica as possible.
For Vice Mayor Rama, these plans must be discussed with the vendors so they will understand why they need to be transferred. /rcg
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