BORACAY – Around 300 ambulant vendors displaced by the six-month closure of this island resort were not yet back in business. They sought help and intervention from the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) of Malay, Aklan.
The Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force and the local government of Malay have proposed a relocation site for them but the vendors – members of the Malay Boracay Vendors Association – have yet to be relocated, said SB member Dante Pagsuguiron.
The vendors were “reeling from the impact of the temporary closure of the island,” Pagsuguiron said. “They were not allowed to sell goods at the beachfront when Boracay reopened on Oct. 26.”
According to the town councilor, the proposed relocation site was near a wetland.
“Hindi pa natin alam kailan nila i-develop ang nasabing area,” said Pagsuguiron.
“Karamihan sa mga vendors ay taga-Boracay,” he added. “Ang problema nila ngayon ay paano nila masusustentuhan ang kanilang mga pamilya at mga anak.”
Another SB member, Dalidig Sumndad, offered his property in Barangay Balabag near Station 1 as temporary site for the displaced vendors.
“I-fast-track natin ang pagtulong sa kanila (vendors),” Sumndad stressed. “Let’s act and help them. Marami tayong nakakausap na vendors at humihingi (sila) ng tulong. Naibalik na ang water sports activities ngunit ang mga vendors natin ay naghihirap pa rin.”
SB member Jupiter Aelred Gallenero, for his part, proposed gathering the affected vendors in a public open space that may be turned into a night market.
“Maganda ang mga beaches natin ngayon. Ang problema natin ay na-deprive ang mga vendors ng kanilang income. Kailangan ang intervention ng Malay (local government) sa ganitong sitwasyon,” he said.
According to SB member Floribar Bautista, it was time for the local government of Malay to build and fund a public market in the island. (With Aklan Forum Journal/PN)