IT’S not business as usual for Sinulog vendors located on Osmeña Blvd., near the Cebu City Central School.
Labo Salimbago, a 44-year-old trader from Lanao del Sur, blamed competition.
“Pinakanindot gyud to sa-una (It was better before),” she said, adding that in previous Sinulog fiestas they always ran out of stock.
Perla Vidas from Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City agreed with Salimbago.
She said she used to have sales of P6,000 to P20,000 a day in previous Sinulog fiestas.
This year, however, she is lucky to get P5,000 a day.
Apart from the low sales, the vendors also have to pay higher rent this year.
Vidas, who sells products made in Cebu, said the Sinulog Foundation Inc. increased the rent to P40,000 each stall during the festival. Before, the rent was only P30,000.
Vidas said the rent is too high considering that their revenues have decreased.
She said their biggest competitor is the Colon night market.
Annabel Mondido, who sells shoes from Carcar City, said that despite the increased rent, there are no bathrooms and garbage bins nearby.
Some of the vendors rent stalls of the Sinulog Foundation Inc. every year. But others are new to the place.
Brothers Nasset and Faisal Ombra from Baguio City, first-timers in the area, said selling during the Sinulog is “challenging.”
The brothers, who sell clothing, said organizers should give better security to the vendors.
But Sinulog Foundation executive director Ricky Ballesteros said the vendors should not blame the Colon night market for their low sales.
“If you’re a businessman, you have to look for ways (to increase your sales). You have to be competitive and innovate,” he said. (Jessnah Brigoli, STC Mass Comm Intern)