Fire victims, vendors to see Palma

SOME fire victims and informal vendors in Barangays Guizo and Mantuyong in Mandaue City will meet with Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma on May 3 to ask for help regarding their concerns with the City Government.

The Mandaue City Sidewalk Vendors Association (MCSVA) and the fire victims, who were not included in the list of individuals who can go back to the fire site and transfer to the relocation site, will again hold a rally on May 1 before their visit to the prelate.

Last month, the stalls of some 550 to 600 sidewalk vendors were dismantled by the City to clear the roads.

Atty. Mae Elaine Bathan, chief of staff of Mayor Luigi Quisumbing, explained that the City was only following the ordinance covering sidewalk vending.

“We are not here to oppress. We are here to follow what is just. We are here to follow what is legal,” she said.

As for the fire victims, Bathan said that the list of beneficiaries is being reviewed so those who were not included will be given a slot in the relocation site.

Some 70 fire victims and members of the MCSVA held a press conference yesterday at the reblocked fire site in Guizo to air their livelihood and housing concerns.

The activity was done in coordination with the Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya-Cebu.

Bernie Aneslagon, representative of the urban poor, said they want the fire victims to go back to where they were previously located and for the vendors to continue selling.

“We will have a dialogue with Archbishop Palma. If the City will not take any action about these concerns, we will file a complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman,” he said.

Early this month, the City had identified 369 fire victims who can go back to the fire site while 288 families will be transferred to the relocation site.

“Almost 1,000 families who were occupying a private lot and in the danger zone were not included in the list of beneficiaries,” lamented Aneslagon.

Bathan, however, said that the City’s Beneficiary Selection Committee will convene on May 2 to 5 to review those who were not included in the list.
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