CEBU City Mayor Tomas Osmeña will discuss with the Market Committee the proposal from the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 to relocate street vendors surrounding the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño during the Sinulog grand parade in January.
PRO 7 Director Jose Mario Espino raised this suggestion to control the crowd, keep them safe from riots or bomb threats, and also ensure an orderly celebration.
However, the mayor has yet to hear the Market Committee’s side before deciding on the plan.
Vendors who stay around the church were disappointed by the proposal.
“This will be a big problem for our business. We worry we may not be able to earn money as this our only source of income,” said a food vendor.
“We don’t want this to happen. We don’t know where we would station ourselves during Sinulog” if the plan pushes through.
Mayor Osmeña, however, said he will help vendors relocate their stations if the plan does get carried out.
He also urged vendors to to direct their concerns to the Market Committee.
Director Espino said he will field police officers around the Basilica a week before the celebration to ensure there will be no obstructions.
Aside from keeping vendors away from the Basilica, the police also want to prevent devotees from camping overnight within the church compound. (Jaziel Calumpag, USC Intern)