ILOILO City – Mayor Jerry Treñas has given sidewalk vendors five more days to vacate their areas and relocate to the city government-designated relocation site – the vacant Cacho property on JM Basa Street, City Proper.
The seven-day ultimatum give them last week ended yesterday but they appealed for an extension. Treñas agreed.
Jimmy Dorado, president of the Iloilo City Federation of Sidewalk Vendors Association, confirmed the mayor gave them until Sunday, Sept. 15, to clear their areas.
Yesterday the sidewalk vendors had a meeting at the Iloilo City Freedom Grandstand. They initially planned to hold a rally.
After the meeting, Dorado said they went to the office the city mayor and asked for an extension.
“Nagapasalamat kami kay may pila pa ka adlaw nga makasupot-supot kami,” Dorado said.
Meanwhile, Marcelo Cacho said their family plans to transform their 2,700-square meter property into a parking lot for rent and a portion of it as selling area for vendors.
As to the rental rate, Cacho said they have to meet with the vendors first.
“What is the acceptable rental rate sa ila? Para indi man mabudlay para sa ila. While everybody would like it for free, unfair man to the other businesses and vendors in the city markets nga gabayad rent,” he said.
Cacho also said they would soon come up with measurements of the spaces for vendors.
He added that no permanent structures would be built on their property because the city government has a long-term plan especially for JM Basa Street as heritage site.
Mayor Treñas, meanwhile, assured the vendors of P5,000 financial assistance each.
The clearing of sidewalks and roads ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte is seen to dislocate an estimated 1,500 vendors here.
Around 600 of these sidewalk vendors could be found around the Iloilo Terminal Market, Iloilo Central Market and downtown streets.
“I seek your cooperation. This road and sidewalk clearing is happening all over the country as a result of President Duterte’s directive. We cannot do otherwise but follow,” Treñas told the vendors.
Treñas also said the vendors could avail themselves of livelihood and skills training offered by the city government’s Public Employment Service Office in partnership with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
The skills training is for food processing, dressmaking, massage therapy, welding, masonry, and carpentry, among others.
Memorandum Circular 2019-121 issued by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) gives local chief executives 60 days to comply with the President’s directive to clear roads, sidewalks and rights-of-way of obstructions.
The President issued the order on the last week of July.
Non-compliance would result in the filing of appropriate administrative charges pursuant to Section 60 (c) of the Local Government Code of 1991 and other existing laws and policies./PN