MANILA, Philippines – Around 100 street vendors gathered in front of the Manila City Hall to appeal for an audience with Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on what he plans to do with them.
Although Mayor Isko did not face the protesting vendors, he explained before the media that the street vendors had been given several chances but have continually violated the conditions and policies set by the government.
The local executive said he ordered the street vendors removed from the major street of Divisoria, particularly on Recto Avenue, Juan Luna Street and Soler Street last June so that these streets can be used by the greater majority especially during emergency situations such as fire incidents.
The street vendors, however, were allowed to use the perpendicular roads so they can put up their stalls and sell their products under certain conditions, such as to maintain cleanliness in the surroundings, follow the correct measurement for their stalls, not to give money to middlemen; not to use the middle of the street so that motorists can still pass.
Mayor Isko said the vendors violated these conditions.
“Binigyan na namin kayo ng pagkakataon eh. Sinayang ninyo eh. Sabi nila, ‘Eh, 20 years na ho kami rito eh. 30 years na ho kami rito.’ Aba! Bagay na ipagpasalamat ninyo sa mamamayan ng lungsod ng Maynila,” Mayor Isko said.
(“We have given you several chance already. But you took them for granted. They say, ‘We’ve been here for 20 years. We’ve been here 30 years.’ That’s one thing that you should be thankful for to the residents of the City of Manila.”)
The vendors, on the other hand, complained of what’s to become of them with their current status.
They are asking for another opportunity to put up their stalls especially now that the long holiday is approaching, which the local chief executive has shown no inclination of giving.
The protesting vendors warned that they will not stop from going to the City Hall to ask Mayor Isko to give them another chance to save their livelihood for the sake of their families. (from the report of Asher Cadapan, Jr.) /mbmf
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