Sto. Niño vendors report losses following transfer to Compania Maritima
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Sto. Niño vendors have been reporting scant sales after they have been transferred to the Compania Maritima grounds for the 2021 Sinulog season.
The vendors are expected to stay there until the Quincentennial Anniversary for the arrival of Christianity in April 2021, and this has worried many of them since they have not been able to sell enough for the Sinulog season.
Alimer Dahoya, a vendor of 30 years, said she can barely cover the P100,000 capital for this year’s season as the customers at the Compania Maritima are significantly fewer compared to their original spots at D. Jakosalem Street which is located at the back of the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.
“Wala gyoy moagi diri. Bisan pa-repair wala gyod moanhi kay wala katuod ang mga tawo diri,” said Dahoya.
Dahoya said that they could not sell a single statue some days and the average is less than 10 or a profit of less than P5,000 per day.
This is far from the usually more than P20,000 profit they earn per day every Sinulog season pre-pandemic. The vendors said that the movement of customers is the main factor for the decreased demand.
Nining Zapanta, a vendor for 26 years, said the people used to get their services because they were easily seen along the streets of D. Jakosalem and Legaspi.
In the past years, every Sinulog, they were often transferred at Legaspi Street to keep them away from the direct vicinity of the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.
The situation was much better before because people going to the Basilica could still see them.
The vendors did not resist their transfer to the Compania Maritima as they understand the security needed to maintain the health protocols, but they believe they should be allowed to return because the Basilica masses have been suspended.
“Pabalikon nalang unta mi nila kay kung padayon mi diri, maglisod gyod mig baligya,” said Zapanta.
As of now, the city government said the vendors will remain there until the major activities of the Quincentennial anniversary are completed so that the vicinity around the Basilica will be clear from potential crowd-gathering establishments.
Both Dahoya and Zapanta said if this will continue, they may find it difficult to recover from this economic situation. /rcg
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