City firm on transfer of sidewalk vendors to Bacolod Vendors Plaza

“IT’S the stand of the city government to demolish all the illegal structures in streets so we will implement the repealed City Ordinance (CO) 183 to transfer all the sidewalk vendors at the Central Public Market and Masamart in Bonifacio Street to Bacolod Vendors Plaza.”

This was stressed by Bacolod City Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran Tuesday, September 17, after more than 50 sidewalk vendors at the Central Pubic Public Market and Masamart held a prayer rally at the Fountain of Justice Monday night to express their opposition on the implementation of CO 183.

Last week, the city council repealed the CO 183 Series of 1980, or an ordinance providing for the disposition of kiosks and stalls constructed around the Central Public Market, Bacolod City which was proposed by Councilor Bartolome Orola Sr.

Familiaran, who went to the area on Monday night, said that supposedly, it was conference with the affected vendors for the implementation of the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to rid public streets of obstruction to facilitate the orderly use of thoroughfares.

“They invited us for a conference so they air their sentiments and most of them were complaining that they will not survive once they will be transferred to the Vendors Plaza. But, the directive of our President is very clear that we need to clear the public streets, and sidewalk is also part of the streets,” he said.

He added that Mayor Evelio Leonardia was not able to attend the meeting with the vendors because he’s out of the country.

The affected vendors were asking the city government to consider them to display their products at the sidewalk with their small or limited stalls as long as they can sell in the area.

“They aired their sentiments and I will discuss it with Mayor Leonardia once he returned here,” Familiaran said.

He said the Masamart and Central Public Market have a total of 60 affected vendors who are set to be transferred to the Vendors Plaza.

A 37-year-old vendor, who refused to be named, said they are hopeful that the city government will consider their situation and will allow them to display at the sidewalk and not in the Vendors Plaza.

To address their concerns, Familiaran said a traffic experiment was already implemented by Bacolod Traffic Authority Office (BTAO) along Vendors Plaza to help the vendors, and the city government will also give them financial assistance.

He said Councilor Orola is finalizing their plan for the implementation of night market in the city to accommodate all the affected vendors.

“We are concern on their welfare and we are looking for a strategy on how they can continue their livelihood so they can support their families and we need to follow the order of our President,” he added.

The repealed CO 183 was already signed by Leonardia last week, and the City Administrator’s Office was also tasked to send notices to the affected vendors.

“Once they received it, they should voluntarily remove their illegal structures and if they will refuse, the City Legal Office Enforcement Unit will be deployed in the area to remove the structures,” Familiaran said.

On September 2, about 380 sidewalk vendors at the downtown area already transferred to the Vendors Plaza and all of them were given a space inside the Vendors Plaza.

They are from the areas of Araneta Street, Gonzaga, Gatuslao, Luzuriaga, Bonifacio, and Ballesteros streets.


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