VENDORS’ WISH: SIDEWALK RETURN

VENDORS’ WISH: SIDEWALK RETURN

first_imgILOILO City – Vendors wish the citygovernment would allow them to return to the sidewalks this holiday season evenfor just a few days. To this Mayor Jerry Treñas said, “I don’t know how it canbe done.” The vendors hope the city government wouldmake a favorable decision soon so they could set up their sidewalk kiosks onDec. 14 or 15 ahead of the Dec. 16 start of the nine-day traditional misa de gallo or early morning massleading to Christmas Day (Dec. 25). Dichupa said they would respectwhatever decision the city government would come up. “Kondiri lang asahan mo, ang sa front lang gid guro ang ayo-ayo benta. Pero sangsa likod pigado,” said Dichupa. PSTMO led the road and sidewalkclearing operations that displaced the vendors. Conlu, however, rejected thisexplanation, pointing out that buyers already knew where to look for vendors. Cacho also promised to further improvethe area to ensure the comfort of the vendors and customers. According to the mayor, the directorof the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in this city showedhim a new memorandum stating that road and sidewalk clearing operations shouldextend to the barangays and not just in the downtown area. According to Dichupa, their return tothe sidewalks even for a limited number of days only would be a big helpalready to boost their income this holiday season. After one year, according to the citygovernment’s Public Safety and Transportation Management Office (PSTMO) headJeck Conlu, the Cachos and vendors would discuss the rental rate. “It would be unfair to those who movedto the Cacho property if other vendors are allowed to return to the sidewalks,”said Conlu.  “Sa mga sidewalk vendors, sundon ta lang ang mga programa nga ginapa-implementsa aton.” The vendors were spotted on thesidewalks of Ledesma, JM Basa, Rizal, and Jalandoni streets. They told thePSTMO business was sluggish at the Cacho property. “Anhonmo na kay nagasandig man lang si mayor sang order sa babaw,” he said. The skills training is for foodprocessing, dressmaking, massage therapy, welding, masonry, and carpentry,among others./PNcenter_img The city government has been clearingroads and sidewalks of obstructions since July following President RodrigoDuterte’s order for local chief executives to reclaim public spaces being usedfor private ends. In an effort to ease the burden of thedislocated vendors, a member of the Cacho family, Marcelo Cacho who is theadministrative manager of Panay Electric Co., announced in October that the vendorswould be required to pay rent for a year. Business is sluggish at the2,700-square meter wide Cacho property, he lamented. “Para at least may dal-on man angamon mga miembro sa ila mga panimalay sa Christmas,” he said. Treñas said he would convey to theDILG the vendors’ wish but stressed, “I don’t know how it can be allowed underthe circumstances,” referring to the new memo that in fact expanded theroad-clearing drive. “We left them with a warning. If theyreturn to the sidewalks again we will seize everything they have,” said PSTMOchief Jeck Conlu. Last month, 13 vendors were arrestedfor returning to sidewalks. PSTMO personnel also confiscated their tables andchairs. Their merchandize, however, were spared. But they remain hopeful and would seekan audience with Treñas before the week is over. “Ginapangamuyoko lang nga hatagan kami ni Mayor sang gamay nga Consuelo,” said Dichupa. This has resulted to the relocation of245 downtown sidewalk vendors to the vacant lot owned by the Cacho family alongthe downtown street of JM Basa, said Niel Dichupa, president of the Federationof Sidewalk Vendors Association in Iloilo City. But there are anestimated 1,500 sidewalk vendors across the city. Treñas previously told the vendors toexplore other livelihood sources and avail themselves of livelihood and skillstraining offered by the city government’s Public Employment Service Office inpartnership with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. “But I will confer with the DILG justthe same,” said Treñas.last_img

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