Stop the clearing of roads
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - September 25, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Hundreds of sidewalk vendors in Cebu City are asking the city government to discontinue the clearing of roads saying it was not part of the national order to clear the public roads from private use.

This was the position of Ermita barangay councilwoman Maria Pino who also sits as the chairwoman of the Cebu City United Vendors Association (CCUVA).

CCUVA has over 4,000 to 5,000 member vendors in the downtown area, the uptown area, and the Carbon Public Market in Cebu City.

“Among gustong mahitabo nga magpabilin mis among mga gipanindahan karon. Kon atong tan-awon, dako na kaayog kausaban. Sa una makita ang Colon nga dili kaagi, karon, dako na kaayog agi-anan ang sidewalk,” she told reporters.

Pino said pedestrians can just walk along the streets and sidewalks since vendors have been regulated already.

However, the Cebu City’s Prevention Restoration Order Beautification Enhancement (PROBE) has issued two separate notices to vendors along Colon Street and A. Soriano Street that their stalls will be cleared in two days, which would be scheduled within the week.

Lawyer Jose Daluz III, special assistant to the mayor, was asked to meet the vendors and address their concerns yesterday. Daluz said the vendors raised valid concerns against the clearing of the sidewalks.

One of their concerns is that the city should also clear and stop private and public parking on public roads, he said.

“Kon manglimpyo man gali tas dalan, ang tanan,” he added.

However, Daluz informed the vendors that sidewalk vending is not allowed especially as the Department of the Interior and Local Government has issued Memorandum Circular 2019-121 giving all local government units 60 calendar days to reclaim public roads from private use to ease traffic as mandated by President Rodrigo Duterte last July.

“Up to what expense, atong katawhan? Daghang mawagtangan og livelihood. Unsay purpose sa clearing kon ang libo ka tao mag-antos?” Daluz said.

Daluz said Mayor Edgardo Labella sympathizes with the vendors, stressing that the city government eyes to extend assistance to them in other ways. He said the city will look for buildings or areas where these vendors will be relocated.

He said the city government will continue to hold meetings with these vendors to ensure that there will be a win-win solution.

Daluz brought the vendors to the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Visayas head Michael Lloyd Dino so he may assist in taking their issue to the national level. — BRP (FREEMAN)

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