DAVAO CITY— The City Traffic and Transport Management Office (CTTMO) has scheduled a series of dialogue with street venders of the now closed night market along Roxas Avenue here to resolve the issues between the government and the store owners.
The city officials ordered the clearing of the Roxas Avenue from street venders following reports that store owners are violating the local government’s set rules for the night market.
Hundreds of street vendors gathered in front of the City Hall office on Thursday morning, August 4, awaiting for dialogue with CTTMO chief, Rodelio Poliquit.
After the weekly I-Speak media conference at the City Hall, Poliquit faced the venders and told them that there will be two separate dialogues for street venders selling ukay-ukay (used clothings) and venders of food and accesories including massage therapists on Tuesday, August 9.
Poliquit said he will meet first the vendors selling ukay-ukay on Monday, August 8, at 1:00 pm at the Davao City Recreation Center. On the following day, he said that he will meet the food and accessory vendors, as well as massage therapists at on August 9.
“If we come to an agreement, then there is a possibility that the night market will be reopened in the afternoon of August 9,” the CTTMO chief said.
Poliquit urged stall occupants to follow the rules set by the local government. He said that the mayor has no intention to close the night market but to arrange it to ensure the city’s cleanliness and sanitation.
700 affected store owners
An estimated 700 venders are affected with the closing down of the Roxas night market – a known destination for residents and visitors here.
After the dialogue with Poliquit, ukay-ukay vender Lloyd Bilonghilot, 40 told Davao Today that they are positive with the upcoming dialogues.
Bilonghilot said that while they wait for the dialogue with the city government, he will be driving a “sikad” (a bicycle with a side car) to earn a living during the weekend.
Bilonghilot said they are among the pioneering venders in Roxas Avenue and has been selling for more than two years now.
He said that renting a space in the night market is very affordable than the rent in commercial spaces. A space in the night market only costs P750 a month.
Mona Sitti Gumacap, 37, a Maranao who sells brand new footwear in the night market for more than a year now, said that they used all their earnings the previous night as capital for their products, not knowing that they will not be able to sell on Wednesday night.
“Where will we get our budget for food?” she said.
Gumacap’s husband earns a living by driving a “pedicab”, a single motorcycle that can carry passengers through a built-in sidecar.
She said it is difficult for them if the night market will close down permanently.
“It is where I get my income to send our children to school,” she said, adding that her eldest daughter, a high school student is the one who tends to their store at night time. Her family earns a minimum of P5,000 per month.
She said she hopes that the problems will be resolved immediately so they can continue selling in the night market. (davaotoday.com)