Cebu city vendors may go back to sidewalks
CEBU CITY — Vendors in Cebu City may soon find their way back to the sidewalks.
After clearing public roads and sidewalks, City Mayor Edgar Labella said he would come up with a scheme that would continue to allow street vendors to sell while giving enough space for pedestrians to use the sidewalks.
In a press conference on Tuesday, the first-term mayor said he would allow the vendors back to their areas in a few days after he finalizes the scheme.
He said the keyword is “regulated” and not totally ban the vendors on the sidewalks.
“We will never allow that these vendors will not be allowed to sell their wares. We will give them the chance to sell,” said Labella.
He said his policy would be “political will tempered with mercy and compassion.”
Asked if it would run counter to the Department of Interior and Local Government memorandum to clear the sidewalks from obstructions, Labella said it would not.
Without explaining further his plans, Labella said the scheme would allow the vendors to sell in their original areas but with regulated space.
Labella said the President’s orders were to clear the streets of obstructions. But, he said, there would be a way to allow vendors and not necessarily obstruct the streets and pedestrian walks.
“Even progressive countries allow vendors to sell on the sides of the streets. But they are regulated. That is what we will do,” he said.
The mayor said the vendors visited him at his office at the City Hall, and he promised them that they would be back on the streets.
Since the last week of September, the Cebu City government has been clearing the streets and pedestrians in compliance with the DILG memorandum.
Vendors were no longer found at the sidewalks of Colon Street, and Osmena Boulevard, among others.
Vendors held a protest rally in Cebu City after they were disallowed on the sidewalks especially in the congested downtown area.
On Tuesday, a few vendors were already back on the sidewalks of downtown Cebu City.
During his State of the Nation Address, President Duterte ordered local government units to “return to public use, all public roads and sidewalks that have been appropriated for private use.”
The DILG was directed to implement the order and impose a September 29 deadline on the removal of road obstructions.
Mayors who do not go along with the plan face suspension./lzb
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