Sto. Niño vendors to return to original stalls on Jan. 20
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The vendors of the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño who have been transferred to the Compania Maritima for the Sinulog season can now go back to their original stalls.
According to Councilor Philip Zafra, the City Council’s committee chairperson for peace and order, the government transferred the vendors because they could potentially draw crowds of customers and spread the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Since January 8, 2021, the vendors have been placed beside Compania Maritima away from the devotees.
This posed a problem for the vendors since the area was not accessible to the customers resulting in losses of up to P100,000 of regular profit due to the transfer.
Zafra said the city government is aware of the struggles of the vendors and lamented the loss of profit.
However, he said it was necessary because D. Jakosalem and P. Zamora Streets, the original spots of the vendors, became the entrance and exit ways for devotees.
This time, since the Sinulog season is drawing to an end, the vendors would finally be able to return to their spots.
“Makabalik na sila after sa orientation sa PROBE nila on the basic health protocols samtang naninda sila dinha…dapat one meter apart gyod, then motabang silag police sa ilang own ranks,” said Zafra.
The vendors will be able to return for a while until the Quincentennial Celebration of the Arrival of Christianity in the country on April 2021.
Zafra said they are not sure how the vendors will be positioned by then, but there is a big possibility that they will be transferred again but to a closer area.
Still, the councilor hopes the vendors would cooperate upon their return to their original spots and ensure their customers follow the health protocols.
“Dili lang sila pwede mag repair kay mao man gud nay makatapok sa mga tawo maghuwat. Pwede sila modawat og repair pero dalhun nila somewhere nga wala ray tawo,” said the councilor.
The vendors must also maintain social distancing, wearing of face masks and shields, and proper disinfection when operating along the sidewalks.
If they cooperate with the city government on this, they can lengthen their stay in their original spots. /rcg
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