Market eviction awaits erring lechon vendors

LECHON vendors in the public market of Carcar City have been ordered to remain inside their stalls. They are no longer allowed to loiter in the aisles and accost customers.

A netizen had posted a complaint on his Facebook (FB) page about being blocked and forced to buy from one of the lechon stalls in the market.

Mayor Mercedita Apura assured the public that lechon vendors will be closely monitored by security cameras installed in the facility.

Violators will be barred from selling in the public market, the mayor said.

Some vendors, who refused to identify themselves, admitted sales have been affected since the FB post went viral.

“We’ve reported the practices of some of our competitors to the mayor. The mayor has talked to them and told them to stop their antics. Erring vendors would listen to the mayor, but would return to their bad practices after some time,” one of the vendors told SunStar Cebu in Cebuano.

They admitted that some of their competitors even blocked their customers, especially frequent buyers.

They lamented that while the African swine fever (ASF) outbreak and the policies implemented by the Provincial Government to protect the province’s P11 billion hog industry have affected their sales, the FB post has made it worse.

Not all, though, share their sentiments.

Vilma, a lechon vendor for 13 years, denied the allegations and belied that their sales have been affected.

“That’s not true. We still enjoy brisk sales, although sales did slow down when the ASF issue first broke out,” Vilma, who refused to disclose her full name, said in Cebuano.

However, Ruthcel Largo, another lechon vendor, said their sales remained strong despite the ASF issue. Things changed only after the FB post, she said.

Largo, though, refused to discuss the allegations against some of her fellow lechon vendors.

When a team from SunStar Cebu went to the public market on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, they found people still buying lechon, albeit they were more careful following reports that some vendors were switching newly cooked lechon with the old stock.

Apura said following the incident, they promised to implement sanctions against lechon vendors who commit illegal practices.

The owner of the stall mentioned in the viral post refused to give a statement. JCT