Davao City’s night market reopens as restrictions relaxed
DAVAO CITY—The open-air night market on Roxas Avenue in this city reopens on Thursday after a two-year shutdown because of COVID-19.
The city government has assured the public that people are welcome, vaccinated or not against COVID-19.
“(There will no longer be any) restrictions because our vaccination rate is high and those not vaccinated are just a few,” city Mayor Sarah Duterte-Carpio said in an interview Monday streamed on her Facebook.
Colonel Darren Comia, Task Force Davao (TFD) commander, said close to 200 soldiers, police, and members of the civilian security unit would be deployed from 5 p.m. to 12 midnight daily, to secure the area and prevent incidents, such as the Sept. 2, 2016 bombing that killed 17 people and injured 69 others.
Angel Sumagaysay, head of the city’s Public Safety and Security Command Center, said at least 56 food stalls, 65 RTW and accessories shops, and 100 massage booths were open Thursday.
Comia said TFD would put up a tactical command post on Roxas Avenue to monitor the night market and ensure everyone is safe.
“The sheer number of people converging at the night market makes it vulnerable to security issues,” said Comia in a virtual forum of the AFP-PNP Press Corps in this city.
Sumagaysay said they would continue to enforce the no-backpack and no-jacket policy.
The market would also have one entrance and one exit, he added.
“We want that (after the market closes) from 12 a.m. to 1 a.m., all activities at the Roxas night market are finished, and the area cleared to prepare it for another busy day,” he said.
Sumagaysay also reminded vendors to police their ranks and follow the policies to maintain order.
Before the pandemic, the night market had been a favorite tourist destination because of its array of stalls offering food and other items for sale. Sumagaysay said authorities were making sure that the area would be clean and safe and free from unlawful elements as it opened after a long lockdown.
The city government closed the Roxas Night Market on March 12, 2020, a day after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. The closure affected close to 500 vendors, including massage therapists.
On Sept. 12, it was reopened but closed again on Nov. 20, when COVID-19 cases surged in the region.
In the absence of restrictions, Carpio reminded the public to always wear masks.
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