Carcar City eyes ordinance to roast erring lechon vendors

THE Carcar City Council is set to pass an ordinance seeking punishment on lechon vendors who disrespect customers and violate other regulations, including the rule on proper sanitation.

This move came in the wake of an incident experienced by a Cebu City resident: he was forced to buy roasted pig from a stall.

Facebook user Jesrel Villas posted his complaint and videos of the incident on social media; they went viral.

Mayor Merceditas Apura has ordered an investigation on the incident. Her husband Nicepuro, who as vice mayor presides over the City Council, promised to write the draft of the ordinance.

The mayor also vowed to look into other complaints posted on social media regarding the lechon sellers’ illegal practices.

Some complainants claimed that there were lechon vendors who tricked them and gave them leftovers instead of the newly roasted pig. They shared their experiences on social media and their posts were shared by other people with similar experiences.

Viral complaints

One such customer was Villas, who shared on Facebook that he was blocked by some lechon vendors even if he wanted to check other stalls inside the public market. He shared his “bad experience” on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019.

Villas did not give his approval to buy lechon from the persons who stopped him from seeing other lechon stalls.

However, he was later told that the roasted pig was already wrapped. Villas and his companion were shocked. When Villas and his friend argued that they did not give instructions to wrap the food, they were told to talk with the angry owner.

Villas’s other companions alighted from the van; they tried to talk with the owner, but the latter started a commotion. The group had made a stopover in Carcar to buy lechon before they would head to their destination in southern Cebu.

Meeting

After the incident went viral, Apura called the attention of the lechon vendors in a meeting. She presented the security camera footage of the incident involving Villas.

The mayor already has the identities of the vendors who blocked Villas. She rebuked them, telling them that the Carcaranons felt ashamed of what they did.

“They killed their livelihood. They are the only ones giving the customers reasons not to buy the lechon in Carcar,” Apura said.

Hardheaded vendors

Market Supervisor Aida Alculin and the City Legal Office are investigating the incident.

Alculin said Villas reported the incident to the Carcar City Police Station last Tuesday, Nov. 5. She said the complainant is ready to file charges and he is willing to cooperate with their investigation.

In the past years, Alculin said she had already heard similar issues. The vendors kept on repeating their mistakes.

“The vendors are really hardheaded. That’s why we need to make a move to make them realize their wrongdoing,” she said.

Punishment

During the meeting, Apura told the vendors to watch out because she had asked the City Council to pass an ordinance that would punish erring lechon vendors, and one of the penalties would be banishing them from the public market.

The ordinance, she said, would also mandate vendors to wear proper attire like hairnet and identification card.

The business permit of the stall owner involved in the recent incident could be taken back by the City after the investigation is over.

Apura said her investigators would check if the owner has been paying the rent and following the City’s sanitary rules.

The mayor said based on the video the vendors wore only sleeveless shirts—a violation, she said.

Several lechon vendors are worried that their income would suffer a dip following the incident, and the vendors involved in the viral video are still selling lechon at the public market, according to Alculin. (JCT)