Vendors at back of basilica banned from sidewalk

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014


CEBU City Hall kept vendors along D. Jakosalem St. from selling religious items for three days starting Tuesday, February 4, while vendors on B. Rodriguez St. will not be allowed to sell food today after they reportedly violated the City’s policy on sidewalk vending.

City Administrator Lucelle Mercado said the vendors’ activities contribute to the congestion on B. Rodriguez St. and D. Jakosalem St. since their stalls encroach on the sidewalk.

She observed that because the sidewalks are occupied by stalls and tables, pedestrians are forced to walk on the middle of the road, which causes traffic since vehicles also have to stop.

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After the Garbo Asenso Sumbanan Alyansa (Gasa) gave the vendors outside the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) not to block the sidewalk, they reportedly agreed to police their own ranks.

Voluntary

But because they failed to do so, Mercado, also the head of Gasa, said the 30 vendors at the back of the Basilica del Sto. Niño and 11 vendors on B. Rodriguez St. “voluntarily” suspended their vending activities.

“We agreed that they would help police the other vendors in the area and if they fail to clear the road and the sidewalk, they will not be able to sell for one day… It’s a voluntary closure on their part because they did not keep their promise to police their own ranks,” Mercado told reporters yesterday.

Members of the Southern Islands Medical Center Vendors’ Association went to City Hall yesterday and appealed to Mercado to allow them to sell today, but she reminded them of their agreement.

“It’s a message to all the vendors and those who contribute to the congestion. Tungod sa ilang binuhatan, kani sila ang naperwisyo kay dili sila kapaninda,” she said.

Matt Alolod, the president of the vendors’ association, said if they had their way, they wouldn’t want to suspend their activities.

On D. Jakosalem St., 30 other vendors have it worse.

They will not be able to sell their religious items for three days starting yesterday.

Mercado said the vendors also did not stand by the agreement to keep the alley between the stalls and the metal railings free of any obstruction.

The City Government placed metal railings on the side of the road so the sidewalk is clearly delineated. The area between the vendors’ stalls and the railings are intended for pedestrians.

“But the vendors occupied even that narrow lane on the sidewalk where the pedestrians should be. They also displayed their images in that area even when they agreed not to do it,” Mercado explained.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 05, 2014.

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