DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has finally given her go-signal for the resumption of the Roxas Night Market, which she ordered closed last August 3.
The night market operation resumed last Saturday and has gained positive feedback from the Dabawenyos, as they observed that the night market, which has become a tourist destination, is now properly organized as compared to its pre-closure days.
But the mayor has made a clear directive that the night market will only be open provided that all vendors must follow rules set by the city government.
"Trial stage pa," the City Information office (CIO) said in a press statement quoting Duterte-Carpio Saturday afternoon.
The lady mayor stressed that the City Government "wants to ensure that order is put in place and rules and regulations are followed by the vendors."
Earlier, City Traffic and Transportation Management Office (CTTMO) head Rhodelio Poliquit met with the vendors last August 8 and 9 at the Almendras Gym Davao City Recreation Center to settle issues and concerns that led to the closure of the nightly street bazaar along Roxas Avenue.
To strictly monitor the vendors, the City Government implemented the ID system. Measures in ensuring the cleanliness and sanitation at the night market, especially in the food section were also set. The city will also station a number of portalets in the area.
The other agencies involved in the operations of the street bazaar are the City Health Office, City Environment and Natural Resources Office, and the Human Resource Management Office
It was on August 3 that the busiest market at night in the city was silenced after Duterte-Carpio, as a disciplinary move, firmly ordered the closure of the night market due to some vendors’ defiance and several violations committed against the agreed rules and regulations.
The announced full-closure implementation was August 4.
Among the violations were vendors who have refused to follow the one family-one-stall rule, they insisted on their preferred locations, presence of stalls that are run by financiers but managed by dummies, vendors sub-leasing stalls to others and the vendors who claimed they were able to buy or secure rights or permits over their preferred stalls, insisting on selling their products even if they are not included in the official list of allowed sellers.
The immediate closure has affected the livelihood of hundreds of vendors loosing around P10,000 to P20,000 daily income.
SunStar Davao, on August 3 evening, interviewed some of the vendors who used to have post at the night market.
“Nahisgutan naman ni sauna na mawala jud ning night market kung padayon gihapon ang uban mag ginahi og ulo, tama jud, wala jud nagpalibak, na close na gyud (temporarily), wa tay mabuhat, unta dili maabtan og one week (closure), diri naman gud amo panginabuhian (We actually feared that this will happen if some vendors will still violate rules (set by the City Government) and it did happen, it’s now temporarily closed, there’s nothing we can do. I just hope this won’t last a week. This is already our source of income),” said 28-year-old dirty ice cream vendor Randy Montenegro.
Duterte-Carpio recognized that the night market has generated revenues for the city but underscored that abiding with the rules and regulations is but on top of her concern.
“Yes, the city is earning from it, but we cannot bend over backward and be soft on these vendors just because the city is earning from their activities. They need to follow the rules,” the mayor said earlier.
In 2015, the City earned P5.47 million in taxes, which is over a hundred percent increase from the P2.24 million figure in 2014. From January to July this year, the city has already earned around P2.98 million in revenues.