Stalls outside Carbon interim market cleared; vendors cry foul

·3 min read

VENDORS doing business outside Carbon Public Market’s Unit 2 building cried foul after the Cebu City Government initiated clearing operations of their stalls on Friday, July 15, 2022.

The clearing operations conducted by the City on Friday were in line with the modernization of the Carbon Public Market.

Around 80 “legitimate” members of the Cebu Market Vendors Development Cooperative (Cemvedco) lost their stalls after these were cleared by the authorities, said Erwin Goc-ong, the group’s president.

Goc-ong told SunStar Cebu they were dismayed with the city government’s action. He called the operation “heartless and insensitive.”

Market Administrator Wendell Cenas issued a notice to transfer dated July 13, informing the vendors to clear their stalls and transfer to the interim market situated at the Carbon’s Unit 2 building on or before July 18.

“Failure on your part to comply with this notice shall constrain the office of the undersigned to conduct a clearing operation which shall cause your immediate eviction from your leased market stalls,” reads a portion of the notice.

‘Not convenient’

However, Goc-ong claimed that the interim market is still under construction and is not convenient for the vendors.

“Ang among mga paninda dili luwas kay walay pultahan. Dili mi komportable ug dili mi makatarong og paninda kay walay kuryente,” said Goc-ong.

(Our products are not safe for storage as their stalls don’t have doors. Our vendors are also not comfortable and can’t do business properly since the stalls don’t have electrical supply.)

Goc-ong said one of the reasons they wrote a letter to Mayor Michael Rama to defer the date of their transfer was the lack of an appropriate area for them to transfer.

Cemvedco also argued that Cenas has no right to issue an order to vacate since it is not part of his job as the market administrator.

Goc-ong also said Cenas warned them that if anyone would try to obstruct the demolition, police personnel would be brought into the area.

“Sakit kaayong dawaton nga ang mga tao nga among gipili pag eleksyon nga palingkoron sa dakbayan aron ipromote ang welfare sa mga tao, mao na hinuoy nag-una og pa-demolish namo kay hugaw mi sa ilang panan-aw,” said Goc-ong.

(It is painful that the people we chose during the last elections to promote our welfare are now the ones who would remove us because we are an eyesore to them.)

According to Goc-ong, they will talk with their lawyers regarding what happened and see if there is any legal remedy that they can seek.

Rule of law

Rama told SunStar Friday that he agreed to the clearing operations to pave the way for the restoration and recovery of sidewalks situated at the Carbon-Ermita corridor.

He also belied claims made by Goc-ong that the stalls in the interim market were not ready for occupancy, saying that Megawide Construction Corp., the main proponent of the modernization of the Carbon Public Market, had already addressed that concern.

Rama also urged Goc-ong and vendors opposing their transfer to the interim market to “follow the rule of law,” especially as the supplemental memorandum of agreement between the City and Megawide for the modernization of the Carbon Public Market had been passed before the City Council earlier this month.

He lamented that while majority of Carbon’s vendors had already expressed their support for the market’s development, Goc-ong and his group allegedly walked out during their meeting with city officials.

“On the side of the city government, we have had enough already discussing this matter and we cannot anymore be holding on,” said Rama.

“Ang importante karon, dili na lang gyud ko makig-away pa kay they have all the right to present their position, but I have the respon

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