Resch: Demolition of vendors’ stalls ‘inhumane’

By: Dyrecka Letigio - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | September 15,2021 - 06:03 PM
Carbon vendors

This photo, taken on Sunday, September 12, 2021,  shows stalls located in Lavo Seaside being cleared and demolished as construction for the modernized Carbon Public Market is set to start soon. On Monday, September 13, several vendors who expressed opposition to the billion-peso project protested. | Contributed Photos

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City ex-officio Councilor Jessica Resch, the president of the city’s Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Federation, has questioned the demolition of the stalls and vendor structures at the portions of Lavo Seaside, Unit 2, and Unit 3 of the Carbon Public Market.

Resch said that the demolition came at a very crucial time during the pandemic when vendors are suffering through the economic devastation of the community quarantine.

She notes that although many of the vendors were relocated, at least 16 vendors were caught by surprise and did not consent to the clearing operations.

“Is it moral and Christian to carry out such demolitions in this period of public emergency, disaster, and calamity – especially where there has been a tremendous loss of livelihood, unforgiving travel and mobility restrictions, mental stress and depression, and even death amongst the affected vendors and their families?”

“Worse, I was informed that there are about 16 who had stated that they were not informed of the demolitions or did not consent to the same. Simple instructions and rules not being observed in this nature of demolitions are too much. We are a government of laws. Not of men. We are not fascists,” said Resch during her privileged speech.

However, the Market Operations Division (MOD), said that they informed the vendors two months before the demolitions and put up tents as a temporary transfer facility for them.

Resch argued that vendors are members of the informal sector and are protected by the 1987 Constitution under Article 13 on Social Justice and Human Rights.

They are also protected and are subject to the development and reforms mandated under Republic Act 8425, or otherwise known as the “Social Reform and Poverty Alleviation Act”.

“This is uncalled for. Informality is not a crime. It is a legitimate profession deserving of all support regardless of their difficulties to comply with formal requirements,” she said.

Resch wanted the City Council to probe the MOD for the demolition, but Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia pointed out that the City Council has no investigative functions.

Instead, the City Council is calling for a citizen hour on the vendors affected, the MOD, and the vendors’ lawyers who are now mulling to file charges for the incident.

The City Council has also asked the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to probe the demolition and investigate whether the MOD has followed the proper process in the clearing operations.

Finally, the City Council has recommended to the city’s executive department to sanction the MOD if they are proven to have violated human rights during the clearing operations.

The MOD has already said in previous statements that the clearing operations are part of the long-term Carbon modernization project, which the majority of the vendors already agreed to.      /rcg

RELATED STORIES:

Carbon modernization underway as clearing operation starts

Relocated Carbon vendors assured livelihood won’t stop

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TAGS: 1987 Constitution, Carbon Market, Carbon Market vendors, Cebu City, clearing operations, Councilor Jessica Resch, demolition, human rights, Market Operations Division, MOD, Republic Act 8425, social justice, vendors

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