Malay execs urge town council to fast-track relocation site for Boracay vendors

Boy Ryan B. Zabal
Hundreds of vendors barred from the beachfront of the new Boracay, still have no designated area where they can sell their goods and services

VENDOR-FREE. Scenes at the shore of Boracay on the eve of its opening, October 25, 2018. Photo by Alecs Ongcal / Rappler

AKLAN, Philippines – Several town councilors have asked the Malay council to speed up the provision of a relocation site for vendors displaced by the rehabilitation of Boracay Island.

The councilors made the call as 300 vendors belonging to the Malay Boracay Vendors Association (MABOVEN) renewed their appeal to the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) of Malay to prioritize  a new site where they can sell goods and services.

Malay Councilor Dante Pagsuguiron said the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force and Malay municipal government have yet to finalize a relocation site for the vendors who now barred from selling their wares and services at the beachfront since Boracay was reopened to tourists on October 26.

“They (Boracay vendors) are reeling from the effects of the temporary closure of the island. They were not allowed also to sell their goods in the beachfront when the Boracay re-opened on October 26,” Pagsuguiron said on Tuesday, November 13.

He said there’s a proposed relocation site near a wetland but no actions had been taken, so far.

“Hindi pa natin alam kailan nila ide-develop ang nasabing area. Karamihan sa mga vendors ay taga-Boracay. Ang problema nila ngayon ay paano nila masusustentuhan ang kanilang mga pamilya at mga anak,” Pagsuguiron added.

(We don’t know when they would develop the said area. Most of the vendors are Boracay residents. Their problem now is how they can provide for their families.)

Town councilor Dalidig Sumndad offered his property in Barangay Balabag near Station 1 as temporary site of affected vendors.

“I-fast-track natin ang pagtulong sa kanila. Let’s act and help them. Marami tayong nakakausap na vendors at humihingi ng tulong. Naibalik na ang water sport activities ngunit ang mga vendors natin ay naghihirap pa rin,” he added.

(Let’s fast-track our assistance. Let’s act and help them. We have spoken to a lot of vendors who are asking for help. The water sport activities have been allowed but the vendors are still reeling.)

Town councilor Jupiter Aelred Gallenero is pushing for public open spaces as night market areas for displaced vendors. This would also help regulate their activities in the beaches of Boracay.

“Maganda ang mga beaches natin ngayon, ang problema natin ay nadeprived ang mga vendors ng kanilang income. Kailangan ang intervention ng LGU Malay sa ganitong sitwasyon,” he added.

SB member Floribar Bautista, for his part, said the local government of Malay should identify a property and allocate funds for a public market in Boracay. 

Crime in new Boracay

Meanwhile,  authorities recorded 53 cases of index and non-index crimes in the first two weeks of Boracay’s reopening.

Police anticipate an increasing number of crime incidents with the return  of tourists after the 6-month closure ended on October 26.

Police identified Cagban, Bantud, Puka Beach, Angol, Caticlan and Bulabog among the “hotspot areas” in the island.

Foot and mobile patrols have been deployed to reduce the prevalence of crimes in the critical areas.

The Malay municipal police station has 5 police sub-stations in 3 barangays and a mobile patrol unit with total strength of 213 personnel based on its integrated patrol deployment plan.

Force multipliers augmenting the local police are  the Malay Auxiliary Police, barangay tanods, Kabalikat Civicom, Salaam Police, PARDDS International, Kabayan, Samahan ng mg Visaya, PARDDS Anti-Crime and Philippine Guardians Brotherhood, Incorporated. – Rappler.com