Mandatory registration of ambulant vendors OK’d
Mary Ruth R. Malinao (The Freeman) - October 25, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — All ambulant and market vendors without stalls will be required to register with the Cebu City government, otherwise they will be evicted or their goods will be confiscated.

This is among the stipulations of the Cebu City Vendor Registration and Welfare Ordinance, which was recently approved by the Cebu City Council.

Authored by Councilor Jerry Guardo, the ordinance mandates the registration of ambulant vendors, peddlers, street vendors, and market vendors without stalls operating within the city.

Section 15 states, “street vendors, ambulant vendors or peddlers and market vendors without stalls who remain unregistered upon the effectivity of this Ordinance, shall be summarily evicted, their structures demolished, their wares and goods confiscated or sequestered in favor of the Cebu City government.”

Under Section 7 of the ordinance, all street vendors, ambulant vendors or peddlers and market vendors without stalls shall register with the Cebu City Vendors Registration and Welfare Council (CCVRWC), subject to the payment of reasonable fees and charges to be determined and formulated by the CCVRWC. The CCVRWC is also tasked to formulate rules on the disposition of the sequestered, confiscated goods and/or wares.

To register, vendors must present their certification from the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) that they are registered voters of Cebu City; a duly accomplished registration form indicating the workplace where such vendor is vending or intends to vend; and endorsement from a vendors’ association or cooperative, duly registered with and accredited by the City Council.

Once registered, a business permit to operate shall be issued to a registered vendor upon payment of the corresponding fees. It shall be renewable every year, according to Section 11.

The permit shall indicate the full name of the vendor, residential address, assigned workplace and the day and time of vending.

Per Section 13, the vendors must ensure and maintain cleanliness in their workplaces through proper waste segregation and disposal methods; ensure unobstructed flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic; and provide for calibrated weighing scales, including compliance with price control and price tag laws, rules and regulations of the Department of Trade and Industry and other agencies, to name a few.

Those who fail to comply with the provisions of the ordinance will be penalized with a fine of P1,000 for first offense; suspension of business permits for a period not exceeding one month and a fine of P5,000, second offense; and cancellation of business permit and revocation of the authority to occupy and vend in the assigned workplace, third offense.

Moreover, ambulant vendors will be allowed in some thoroughfares.

“No vending activity by street vendors, ambulant vendors or peddlers and market vendors without stalls shall be allowed in places not designated, including main thoroughfares to be identified and determined by CCVRWC,” Section 17 states.

CCVRWC comprises of the Mayor or his official representative as the chairperson; and City Council’s Committee on Markets chairman, Committee on Labor, Employment Cooperatives and Livelihood chairman, Cebu City Transportation Office head, Office of the City Market Administrator head, PROBE team head, Cebu Chamber of Commerce representative, and vendors’ cooperatives or associations representatives duly accredited by the City Council to be appointed by the Mayor, among others.

Among the functions of CCVRWC are to formulate policies and programs that will accord protection and security to registered and accredited vendors or peddlers; to recommend appropriate measures to the mayor and City Council to enhance the participation of vendors in local socio-economic development efforts; and to conduct regular surveys on areas for vending.

Section 6 provides that the CCVRWC shall conduct a survey to identify areas that may be designated for vending purposes and shall submit its recommendation to the City Council for approval.

The annual budget of P1 million will be appropriated for CCVRWC’s operations. The budget shall be charged against the general fund appropriations.

The ordinance is in consonance with the Presidential Executive Order No. 452 (24 October 1997) and its implementing rules and regulations provide for guidelines to ensure the security of registered vendors in their workplaces, indicating inter alia, vendors shall not be arbitrarily deprived of their livelihood by being unjustly ejected from their workplaces nor have their stall demolished.

“There is an urgent need to protect the vendors from being deprived of their source of livelihood, as well as the rights of consumers and citizens from the negative effects of the vending industry,” the ordinance reads. — KQD (FREEMAN)

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