Ukay-ukay, rowdy bands out in Roxas Blvd-A A +A
By Jun Ledesma
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
AT LONG last Roxas Boulevard and Palma Gil Street will now be free from ambulant vendors, liquor stalls and rowdy bands that only mar the celebrations of Kadayawan, Araw ng Dabaw, and the Yuletide season. I distinctly remember how the city authorities compassionately allowed vendors to sell their wares in the boulevard. I think that it was Jason Magnaye who had a simple and inexpensive stall designed for the vendors to follow. Soon, rows of dainty- looking covered stalls cropped up. But not long after a horde of make-shift stands sprouted like mushrooms selling what else but “ukay-ukay” stuff.
At the other end of Roxas Blvd. adjacent to Marco Polo Hotel, the street was closed to give way to a rock band that played rowdy rock music that rendered guests in Davao City’s only five star hotel miserably sleepless. It did not help that they have to contend with blasts from the band, they too have nowhere else to go for nearly everything that were peddled in what is our equivalent to the famous night market of Hong Kong were illegal stuff of “ukay-ukay” goods.
The fine memories of what were impeccably superb ethnic spectacles which were uniquely Davao, effectively vanished into a nightmarish encounter with garish sounds that only the drunkard and the high-on-drug persons appreciate.
I’d give Mayor Inday Sara Duterte a triple “A” for finally addressing this perennial problem that hounds our Kadayawan and Araw ng Dabaw festivities. It takes an exceptional political will for a politician to arrive at that decision because the general perception is that those ambulant vendors can translate to votes. This perception is farcical. In the last mayoral elections, the pedicab operators were organized into a federation that supported the Nograles team. The results of the votes argue against the perception that illegal ambulant vendors and pedicab operators can deliver votes.
Be that as it may, Mayor Inday Sara never harbored any ill feelings against them. As seen in recent events, the mayor stood in the way to stop the apprehension of payong-payongs and other pedicabs by calling for a one-month moratorium in the seizures of the illegal units within which time these are legitimized. But make no mistake in interpreting the mayor’s kindly intervention. The lady is sharp and she knows when some sectors present themselves as coming from the poorest of the poor in our society. I do not think she can be hoodwinked by sad stories and emotional blackmail for there are limits to how far can kindness and compassion go beyond what the law allows.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 17, 2012.