No eviction just regulation, city sidewalk vendors told

Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (center) with Councilor Celia Flor and City Administrator Pacifico Maghari III meeting with the representatives of the vendors on Saturday.*

The Bacolod government will not evict the close to 1,000 sidewalk vendors in the city, the majority of whom are vending  outside three major public markets, but will regulate  the areas where they can vend, Councilor Celia Flor said on Sunday, August 7.

Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, Flor and City Administrator Pacifico Maghari III met with the representatives of the vendors on Saturday.

The sidewalk vendors feared that they would be cleared out, Flor, who chairs the Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Markets and Slaughterhouse, said.

“We told them that was not our intention, our intention is to regulate,” she said, that is why she is preparing an ordinance on the matter.

The ordinance will require the registration of sidewalk vendors, set designated locations for vending and the hours when they can operate, Flor said.

She said an inventory has already been conducted of the sidewalk vendors at the Libertad, Burgos and Central markets.

No additional sidewalk vendors will be allowed, Flor added.

At the Central Market there are about 117 sidewalk vendors and the initial plan is to allow them to vend only on one of the four lanes at Bonifacio Street, she said.

There are lot of vendors in the afternoon at Gatuslao Street where jeepneys pass, while public transport do not go through Bonifacio Street, she said.

The about 200 to 300 sidewalk vendors at Mercedes Street near the Libertad Public Market Annex will also only be allowed to occupy one lane, Flor said.

They are temporarily vending on the sidewalk while the repair of the Libertad Public Market Annex is being completed but there is a problem with the design of the stalls that has delayed their transfer, she said.

There are still vegetable vendors vending on the sidewalk while the repair of the Burgos Public Market vegetable section is underway, Flor also said. They will return inside the market when the work is done, she said. 

The areas where sidewalk vendors in downtown can operate will also be regulated, she said.

“We cannot make them leave because they have been operating there for decades,” she said.

Flor also said that they may allow a night market at the South Capitol Road from 6 p.m. to midnight from Friday to Sunday. There is also a proposal to put the night market at the Vendors Plaza at the reclamation area, she added.*

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