Undertaking needed for Sto. Niño vendors to return to original spots
CEBU CITY, Philippines — No oath of undertaking, no selling.
This was the strict and only requirement of the Cebu City Prevention Restoration Order Beautification and Enhancement (PROBE) team for all Sto. Niño vendors for them to get back to their original posts in the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño vicinity.
PROBE head, Racquel Arce said this was the only request of the city government from the vendors who are given the privilege to sell near the sidewalks of the Basilica’s surrounding roads.
In the oath of undertaking, the vendors will have to follow all health protocols, avoid bringing minors into the stalls, conduct repairs elsewhere to avoid crowding of customers, not to use the stalls as a bodega or storage for non-retail goods, maintain the cleanliness of the area, follow the schedule set from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, and to pay the arkabala or rent to the city government on time.
Arce said the undertaking was necessary so that the city government has the word and commitment of the vendors that they would follow the regulations when selling near the sidewalk.
However, some vendors have complained that this undertaking is unjust for them especially the policies on repairs and staying within the 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. selling time.
Vendors, who refused to be named, said that they have been forced to sign the undertaking simply to be able to sell again in their usual spot.
For the vendors, the undertaking will make it easy for the city government to remove them anytime.
“Still wala tay gitagaan og favoritism or preference. Katong gibalhin sila sa Compania Maritima, sila tanan gibalhin. Karon nga gibalik na sila, gibalik sad nato ang undertaking. Kasagaran naka comply, unsa may reason sa uban nga dili makacomply?” said Arce.
The PROBE head said that all vendors near the sidewalks or on the sidewalks are not permanent as the sidewalks are not a place for commerce in the first place.
The city government has given enough consideration to the livelihood of the vendors and a simple undertaking to regulate their operations in accordance with health protocols should not be seen as oppressive.
If the Department of Interior and Local Government mandates they be removed, the city government has no choice but to remove them.
“Tanang naa sa undertaking paghapsay sa operation sa mga vendors aron dili sila makasamok sa sidewalk, dili sila mapapahawa,” said Arce.
Despite the complaints of some, many vendors are still thankful that they were allowed to go back.
“Mas maayo diri. Wala gyod miy halin didto intawon. Diri makit-an mis mga mangagi. Ali na intawn mo mga suki diri duol sa City Hall,” said Loltlot Avenido, one of the vendors.
These grateful vendors thanked Arce for allowing them to return to their original spots and promised to follow the regulations for a safer operation. /rcg
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