Vendors insisting sidewalk ‘takeover’-A A +A
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
SEVERAL vendors along San Pedro Street are against the City Government’s one-third/two-thirds rule, where vendors can only occupy one-third of the width of a sidewalk, and are interpreting it as a move to remove them.
“Ang akin kung gusto ni Colonel na hindi ako maninda, hindi ko paeskwelahin [papag-aaralin] ang mga anak ko. Sige ialis ko ang akin para walang problema,” said Usodan Sadic Mangadang, president of Maranao vendors in San Pedro Street composed of 60 members.
Mangadang is referring to retired Col. Yusop Jimlani of the City Mayor’s Office-Drainage Management Unit (DMU) and retired Col. Dionisio Abude of the Traffic Management Center (TMC).
The two were given until Friday, August 23, by City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte to make vendors comply with the one-third/two-thirds rule.
The vendors said they insist on their occupancy of the sidewalks.
Norong Salam, 34, who said she has been a sidewalk vendor for five years now said they are willing to comply with the policy, but at the same time demanded relocation.
Salam has been occupying a major portion of the sidewalk outside the Unitop along San Pedro Street.
“Tuman man mi pahawa pero dapat naay relocation kay mao ra ni among income (We will leave, but there should be a relocation because this is our only source of income),” Salam told reporters in an interview Tuesday, although he never said anything about reducing the width of his sidewalk stall.
Duterte had consistently told vendors to only occupy one-third of the width of a sidewalk and leave two-thirds to pedestrians. But vendors would always insist on using more than half of the sidewalk, forcing pedestrians to walk on the road.
Duterte has again reiterated this rule and warned those who will defy this that their stalls will be confiscated.
Like Salam, vendors’ association president Mangadang was just as incoherent, saying that he is not against the policy, but at the same time says that he will willingly stop vending at the risk of making his children stop schooling.
“Sa akoa okay lang pero ang akoang mga kasama, ewan ko sa kanila. Kasi ang iba maraming matigas ang ulo. Sinabihan ko sila. Pero hanggang ngayon hindi pa sila nag lihok (I’m okay with the rule, but I don’t know with them. Many are hardheaded. I already told them but until now they refuse to heed the rule),” Mangadang said, before saying his spiel about having to sacrifice his children’s education if forced to stop vending.
However, Jimlani said he never told them to stop from doing their business but only to regulate them to control the sidewalk.
“Alam na nila dati ang gagawin nila. Sinabi na sa kanila during the 13th meeting. Kaya nga may measurement tayo na binigay,” Jimlani told the media.
He said they have warned them even before Ramadan and extended the grace period until after Kadayawan.
“We are actually looking for all the remedies. But at the end of the day, it will be the decision of the city mayor. All things must be acted. Kasi pag hindi naming gagawin yan, at the end of the day, ang mayor na masuko sa amo (it’s the mayor who will be angry at us). So talagang kukunin namin,” he said.
As to relocation, Jimlani said he is not in authority to act on that.
Like Masadang, Masiding Usman Sumalipao, 70, a sidewalk vendor along the Crooked Road, said he might just stop selling and find other means of livelihood.
“Matagal kami dito umabot ng 30 taon. Hindi na lang maghanap ng ibang pwesto, sa bahay na lang ako. Wala na kaming mahanap diyan. Saan pa kami maghanap?” Sumalipao said.
Sumalipao sells a variety of items such as DVDs, bags and among others.
“Wala na tayong maraming salita diyan kasi mahal din natin si mayor,” he said.
Abude, on the other hand, said San Pedro Street is one of the areas of concern in terms of sidewalk vendors taking over whole stretches of sidewalks.
“Karon nagapasabot lang ta sa ila. Pero ang pagbadlong namo sa ila wala pud nagpasabot nga dili na sila maninda. Maninda gihapon pero dapat mag tuman lang sa one-third, two third policy (We are trying to make them understand. By telling them they are defying the rule, we are not telling them that they cannot sell. What we are telling them is to follow the one-third/two-third policy),” Abude said.
Aside from San Pedro Street, Jimlani said they will also be regulating sidewalk vendors along Uyanguren and those on the overpass in Matina area.
“Kung nakaya natin ang drainage, eto pa kaya. They already knew the policy pero hindi pa rin sumusunod. Sobra na. Tama na,” Jimlani said. ANC
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 21, 2013.