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‘1,500-strong Libertad market vendors go for 14-0 GP sweep’

City PIO photo

It was “Red Shirt Day” at the Libertad Public Market last Saturday, Oct. 30.

The more than 1,500-strong Libertad Market Vendors Association and the Amelia Mercedes Vendors Association gave the Mayor Evelio Leonardia-led Grupo Progreso a big boost as fish, vegetable and fruit traders, all clad in red shirts, endorsed the 14-member GP slate because of their proven leadership that paved the way for the continued growth of Bacolod City, a press release from the Bacolod Public Information Occide said Sunday.

Leonardia, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, incumbent Councilors Cindy Rojas, Renecito Novero, Archie Baribar, Dindo Ramos, Carl Lopez and Israel Salanga as well as former Councilor Em Ang, Ed Guillem, Marlon Solidum, Jonathan Diaz, Dr. Chris Sorongon and Cashmere Montalvo received the LIMVA and AMVA support via a two-page manifesto signed by their officers led by Efren Mangalus and Romer Real, respectively.

LIMVA has 996 members, while AMVA has 517 vendor-members in its roster.

Christmas carols were played at the brief program, further adding color to the event with the venue accented by everything red.

Red is the official GP color of the GP that was formed by Leonardia in 2007.

Leonardia and members of his slate thanked the Libertad market vendors, who vowed to actively campaign for a 14-0 sweep.

The mayor also announced that on top of the P50 million allocation coming from the national government to develop the Libertad Public Market, the city will add P8 million more for their other needs.

Leonardia was able to secure a P150 million fund from the national government for Bacolod’s three major markets–Libertad, Burgos and Central Market–at P50 million each.

“We strongly believe that continuity is better than change. That is why, the members of LIMVA want to make known their stand that the best way to ensure Bacolod’s growth is to go all-out for Mayor Bing and the GP,” Mangalus said.

Leonardia and the GP, he said, have shown their sincerity as public servants over the years and ensured that the Libertad vendors will not be dislocated at a time when their tenure was threatened, he added.

The LIMVA leader also said that only the GP team has shown genuine concern on the plight of the vendors as they extended financial assistance, food aid and made sure that small businesses like them are safe, via the city’s vaccination program, at the onset of the COVID pandemic.

Real echoed Mangalus’ position, pointing out that Bacolod is in good hands under Leonardia, Familiaran and the GP-dominated Sanggunian.

The reason why we will continue to support Grupo Progreso is simply because “we love Mayor Bing”, he added.

Leonardia, Real continued, is an outstanding mayor having steered the growth of the local economy since he became the top city executive.

While the rival camp is saying that it will pursue housing for the poor, the mayor has already done that, he was quoted in the press release as saying.

He had already awarded lot ownership to thousands of informal settlers at the Progreso Village. They are claiming they will bring in investors but Mayor Bing has also done that as early as 2004 when giant malls, real property developments, including big subdivisions and condominiums, started to sprout around Bacolod until today. In other words, what the rival is saying are mere promises, he said.

In a manifesto, the LIMVA and AMVA said that the city has sustained its growth because under Leonardia’s watch, Bacolod earned various awards including the Most Business-Friendly City, the Best Performing Local Government Unit in the Visayas and is a recipient of the Department of Interior and Local Government’s Seal of Good Governance, among others.

Earlier, the four market vendors’ groups at the Burgos Public Market, with close to 1,000 memers, had also endorsed Leonardia, Familiaran and the GP slate for the City Council.*

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