Sanchez: Sidewalk vending

Nature Speaks

LET us see how the vice mayor executes City Council Ordinance (CO) 183, Series of 1980, or an ordinance providing for the disposition of kiosks and stalls constructed around the Central Public Market. It was signed by Mayor Evelio Leonardia last week.

I’m unimpressed with his lackluster implementation of Republic Act 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Management Act). Just look around Luzuriaga Street in the afternoon and early evening. He told Mayor Bing Leonardia in May 2019, “The solid waste enforcement unit will be tasked to penalize the violators in waste segregation.”

You can see sidewalk vendors, barkers, jeepney passengers throw their litter in the streets. That would horrify my elementary school teachers who dinned into our little to throw our trash in the trash cans.

Now here comes Familiaran again with his ultimatum that vendors should vacate their stalls or force the City Legal Office Enforcement Unit to remove the structures since the area is a government property.

“They should take their belongings only and the area should be cleared on Sunday or Monday,” he said. I’m not holding my breath.

He said the affected vendors were also given space at the Vendors Plaza so they can continue their livelihood in the area.

On Monday night, September 16, more than 50 sidewalk vendors at the Central Public Market and Masamart held a prayer rally at the Fountain of Justice to express their opposition on the implementation of the newly signed CO 183.

So it’s going to a battle of wills. “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,” Familiaran said.

Ningas cogon is how Filipinos describe law and order. The CO 183 might be enforced. How long? The jaywalking strictly enforced in 2018 is now a dim memory.

The demolition of the illegal structures is in compliance with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to rid public streets of obstruction to facilitate the orderly use of thoroughfares.

Then we get this. Familiaran reminded the market stall owners in three big public markets to pay their monthly obligations or their arrears to the city government or else their stalls will be given to the displaced vendors.

The proof of the pie is in the eating. Or in the city ordinances, in the enforcement. As a sneaker ad put it, “Just do it.”


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