Carvajal: A question of decency

·2 min read

Oxford Dictionary defines decency as “behavior that conforms to accepted standards of morality and respectability.” Decency thus resides at the core of a natural person’s being, in the heart or soul where one’s human-ness is defined.

Legal persons such as corporations, governments, churches etc. also have a sort of collective soul. We catch a glimpse of their soul in the manner they live their corporate lives. In a less-than-ideal world, however, the bigger, wealthier and more powerful these legal persons are, the deeper their collective soul gets buried under layers of ambition and greed for more wealth (profits) and power.

This explains the demolition the City did of Carbon vendors’ stalls. Desperate that the City had ignored their pleas for reconsideration, vendors filed a court case to stay the implementation of the Carbon world-classing project they are convinced, and rightly so, would impact negatively on their lives as small business entrepreneurs.

It would have been decent of Cebu City officials not to demolish vendor stalls yet. Decency demands that they listen to the counter arguments and counter proposals of the vendors and not demolish their stalls on the contrived pretext that the court has not issued a TRO (temporary restraining order). Of course there is no TRO as court cases take ages to resolve.

For the record, the vendors are not against improving Carbon’s facilities. They just want Carbon’s 2.8 hectares to be excluded from the 7.8 hectares contracted to Megawide (for development into a world-class facility) and for it to be scaled up only to a point where Carbon does not lose its unique character, to a level that it does not alienate small vendors or business entrepreneurs.

They have an alternative plan for this level of development that they are confident they can finance and manage by themselves with, of course, some help from what they hope would eventually be a sympathetic city government.

Megawide can be presumed to be all-business about this issue. Unless, therefore, Cebu City officials sympathize with the cause of the vendors, the latter would be like David fighting Goliath. Cebu City officials are the vendors’ only hope of deliverance from the negative impact on their lives of an over-the-top upscaling of Carbon market.

Not only vendors but also suppliers and buyers from all over Cebu and neighboring islands would lose a major trading hub for price-friendly prime commodity items and basic supplies. Thus, the vendors are also tugging at the heartstrings of the supplying and buying public to care and join them in asking the City to consider their proposal that Carbon be upscaled only to a point where it doesn’t lose its unique culture and doesn’t alienate Cebu’s small people.

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