BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran will meet with Mayor Evelio Leonardia September 23 to discuss concerns and demands raised by vendors affected by the Malacanang-mandated street clearing operations here.
Familiaran met with vendors who have banded under the Bacolod City Vendors and Entrepreneur Forum during a protest action they held at the City Hall last night.
Leonardia is in South Korea as one of the fellows to a cultural exchange program that runs until September 21.
“I will immediately discuss this with him when he arrives September 23,” Familiaran told DNX News.
Familiaran said among the demands of the vendors is for the city to allow them to continue selling in the streets or sidewalks where they have been used to but using less permanent structures.
For example, instead of a semi-fixed stall or shanty, they would only use stools or woven baskets on which to put the produce or wares they are selling, Familiaran said.
Some representatives of the vendors pointed out to him that the order of President Duterte does not cover sidewalks and even the clearing of Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso covered only the streets.
The vice mayor told them, however, that consultations were conducted with the officials of the Department of Interior and Local Government who clarified that, indeed, sidewalks are included.
One of the spokesperson of the group, Rodolfo Maligmat, a former union president, even pointed put to Familiaran that the stall he occupies at the Bacolod Central Market is legal. “He said their occupancy is covered by City Ordinance 183, series of 1980,” Familiaran recounted to DNX.
Helen Aguadilla, on the other hand, who also represents the group, said she joined the protest action not because she is affected by the clearing but because a lot of vendors are coming to her seeking help.
Aguadilla owns a money-changing business while Maligmat runs a gold-plating shop.
Familiaran, however, explained to them that the city council had already passed a City Ordinance 908, series of 2019 that repealed CO183.
It was approved unanimously with some councilors saying that the passage of the Local Government Code in 1991, automatically nullified the 1980 local law.
Familiaran assured the group that Leonardia and the city government understand their worries and City Hall is not “overacting” contrary to what some vendors think.