CEBU CITY, Philippines – To force Cebu City sidewalk vendors out of busy areas, the local government has given the estimated 250 stalls until noon of Sunday, September 29, to move to the designated area at “Tabo sa Banay” on F. Gonzales street.
“We [will help] arrange them now, start silang vending sa new area,” Public Restoration, Order Beautification, and Enhancement (PROBE) head Raquel Arce told reporters on Saturday afternoon, September 28.
Arce said only those who complied with the 12 noon deadline will be accommodated in the F. Gonzales Street relocation site. Vendors who remain on Colon Street and Osmeña boulevard will be forcibly removed, and will not be assisted in finding a replacement site.
The deadline was in compliance with the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to remove obstructions by September 29. (READ: Labella focuses on cleaning dirty creeks, obstructed sidewalks)
Arce said Colon Street and Osmeña boulevard must be cleared by Sunday afternoon.
F. Gonzales Street was chosen as a replacement because it was not a busy road open to passing vehicles.
The area is currently being used as a pay parking area, although some vendors have already moved there.
Other vendors will be placed at the Senior Citizen’s Park beside the Cebu City Hall.
The relocation of the vendors comes even after the Cebu City United Vendors Association (CCUVA) protested the move on September 25. Some vendors complained that the transfer to F. Gonzales street would affect their incomes.
“If they will protest, what can we do? We need to practice political will because the sidewalk should be for the pedestrians and the Supreme Court states (that) the sidewalk is beyond the commerce of men,” Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella was quoted in a report in Cebu Daily News.
Cleaning up clogged creeks and sidewalks have been a priority of the first-time mayor, who was approaching his 100th day in office.
He previously proposed putting up a building for vendors who would be displaced, but an exact location for the building has not been disclosed. – Rappler.com