Sto. Niño vendors given 10 hours to sell during Misa de Gallo period
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Vendors selling statues of the Holy Child and offering cleaning and painting services around the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño here will be given only 10 hours a day to sell during the Misa de Gallo period.
Racquel Arce, the head of the Prevention Restoration Order Beautification and Enhance (PROBE) team, said that due to the Executive Order of Mayor Edgardo Labella that states vendors are not allowed within 50 meter radius of any church during the Misa de Gallo, the Sto. Niño vendors cannot stay in their stalls during the period when dawn masses are being celebrated.
The initial plan was to transfer them to the empty lot beside Compania Maritima, where they should stay until Sinulog 2021, but since the lot is not yet ready for occupation, the move has been deferred after Christmas.
Because of this, the vendors will be allowed to stay in their stalls with the alternate-day guidelines from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, or at least an hour after the dawn masses until an hour before the Simbang Gabi in the evening.
Arce said this is the only way to compromise that the vendors be allowed to sell still, without violating the no-vendor policy during the Misa de Gallo and the Simbang Gabi.
“Nalipay ra pud na sila kay mataod-taoran pa nga makabaligya sila duol sa Basilica. Hinaot ig human aning Pasko, ig pabalhinun na sila, mopatuo ra pud sila,” said Arce.
(They’re happy still because they can still sell near the Basilica. We just hope that after Christmas, when they are asked to transfer, they will comply.)
Since they have been given the warning ahead of time that they are only allowed to sell in the morning until afternoon, any violator may be penalized or lose their stalls permanently. They can be apprehended by the police in patrol during the masses as well.
Arce urged the vendors to simplty follow the guidelines and avoid violating so they can continue to operate around the Basilica.
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