AN ADDITIONAL P2.04 million has been set aside by the Bacolod City Government as cash assistance of P5,000 each to 408 vendors displaced by the ongoing road clearing operations.
The first 78 of these 408 vendors received their cash assistance of P5,000 each last Friday, January 29. The rest will receive theirs within this week as they are scheduled by batches in order to observe social distancing rules.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran led the distribution of financial assistance to the vendor-recipients who were displaced by the road clearing operations that was mandated by a presidential directive in relation to measures against Covid-19.
Prior to last Friday's distribution, the City Government had also already given P1.7 million worth of livelihood assistance to 340 other vendors, each also receiving P5,000.
In total, therefore, the City Government -- through the Department of Social Services and Development -- is in the process of distributing P3.74 million worth of financial assistance to 748 displaced vendors.
Section 4 (II) of Republic Act 11494, or the "Bayanihan to Recover as One Act," provides that part of the Covid-19 Response and Recovery Interventions includes the regulation of traffic on all roads, streets and bridges, and access thereto and the prohibition against putting up of encroachments or obstacles.
On November 11, 2020, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued Memorandum Circular 2020-145, ordering local government units to comply with the presidential directive to resume the clearing of roads of illegal structures and constructions from November 16, 2020 to January 15, 2021.
Undersecretary Bernardo Florece Jr., DILG officer-in-charge, however, issued a memorandum last January 19, extending the deadline until February 15, 2021.
Full implementation of road clearing was undertaken in Bacolod as the city transitioned to a modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), which, under DILG Memorandum Circular 2020-027, would require the LGU to adopt all components of the Road-Clearing Operations.
In Bacolod, the areas affected were Downtown, Central Market, Burgos Market, and Libertad Market. As a result, several vendors were displaced.
In response, Leonardia ordered the distribution of the livelihood assistance to help these displaced sellers, said Executive Assistant Ernesto Pineda.
Assisting Leonardia and Familiaran in Friday's distribution were Councilors Renecito Novero and Bartolome Orola, Emergency Operations Center executive director and City Administrator Em Ang, Department of Social Services and Development head Pacita Tero, and Assistant City Administrator Allyn Luv Zamora-Dignadice. (PR)