MINI Park Vendors Association (MPVA) stalls were demolished near Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) Wednesday, January 25.

Around 60 stalls along J.P. Laurel Avenue near SPMC were demolished to use the territory for the hospital’s renovation, led by the Davao City Engineer’s Office (CEO-Davao) Demolition team.

Some vendors also voluntarily removed their own goods and belongings and demolished their own stores prior to the demolition.

Davao City Engineer's Office Demolition Team Lead Dante Porcadilla said the vendors were given earlier notice as early as January 5 this year.

He also said the vendors were fully aware that their business permits will not be renewed this year because of the scheduled demolition.

“January 5 pa lang gitagaan na silag notice diri, niagi pa ni silag dialogue, pero last notice na to siya (Since January 5 they are given notice to vacate the area, we also had a dialogue with them, and that was our last notice),” Porcadilla said.

“[Nakigsabot mi sa mga vendors] last Friday, [mihangyo sila na] extend silag June [30, 2023], wala na [nadayon] kay gamiton mang SPMC, gamiton mang atubangan (Initially, last Friday we’ve talked with the vendors, they requested to have the extension until June 30, 2023, that was not approved because SPMC will use the space),” Porcadilla added.

Meanwhile, MPVA president Benedic Casi said he was very disappointed with the decision of the City Council and Davao City mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte regarding the “quick” demolition.

He said neither the vendors’ association nor the vendors violated any article or city ordinance.

“Sa tanan nga nagpirma sa ordinance na ipademolish mi, iampo na lang tamo sa inyong gibuhat sa amoa, nawad-an mig katungod [na manginabuhi] (To all who signed the ordinance that our place will be demolished, we will pray for you for all you’ve done to us, we’ve lost our livelihood rights),” Casi said in an interview via Bombo Radyo Davao.

Lenlen Acosta, a sari-sari store and printing services vendor in the area for 15 years called on CEO officials and the City Government to give them relocation and other important services that will be helpful for them to start their livelihood again.

“Unta matagaan lang mig relocation ba, kay lisod kaayo walay panginabuhian, wala mi mabalhinan (We hope we will be relocated, as it’s hard to have no livelihood and permanent relocation),” she said. ICE