Philippines Report

Sidewalk vendors offer to police ranks so they can go back selling

SIDEWALK vendors

SIDEWALK vendors in Cebu City have come up with health measures to be implemented should they be allowed to operate again.

City Councilor Dave Tumulak, chairman of the task force created by Mayor Edgardo Labella to study the sidewalk vendors’ return, said they still have to discuss the measures proposed by vendor associations.

Tumulak met with vendors on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, to listen to their proposals.

There are around 1,200 sidewalk vendors in the city who have been affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Cebu City United Vendors Association chairperson Maria Pino said their members will strictly observe social distancing.

Guidelines

To comply with this policy, stalls will have to be one meter apart. Customers will also have to stand a meter from the stall when buying something.

Pino said they’re also proposing an alternate vending time scheme using odd and even numbers to ensure no overcrowding on sidewalks.

Apart from these, vendors must wear masks and face shields at all times. Alcohol or hand sanitizers shall be made available for customers and vendors.

Stalls must be covered in plastic to minimize contact with customers.

Money must be placed on trays.

If there is available space, a handwashing area may be put up.

Vendors must ensure that the vending area and its surroundings are clean before and after the vending time. They cannot bring their children. They must disinfect the vending area at least once a week. Each stall must put up a poster reminding customers of health protocols.

For “pungko-pungko” and other food vendors, they proposed limiting the number of dine-in customers to ensure social distancing is observed.

A plastic shield should also be installed in between the table for diners.

Food vendors with limited space can only accept take-out orders.

Vendors need to wear an apron, hair net and gloves at all times.

Merchants rendering repair services who only have stalls can only accommodate one customer at a time. However, if merchants do not have enough space for a chair for a customer, the customer is encouraged to leave the item and return for it later.

Meeting

Tumulak said the task force will meet on Tuesday, Oct. 13, to discuss the vendors’ proposals.

Tumulak said should the City allow sidewalk vendors to return, they can only sell in large spaces so social distancing can be observed.

He said the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will need to approve the return of sidewalk vendors.

He said the outcome of Tuesday’s meeting will be forwarded to DILG Secretary Eduardo Año.

“We understand that these vendors need livelihood, but it’s not only a decision of the local government unit. It also needs a decision of the DILG,” Tumulak said.

In February 2020, the DILG issued a memorandum circular to local chief executives for the continued implementation of the presidential directive to clear all public roads and sidewalks of illegal structures and any obstructions.

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