MANILA, Philippines — Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte told displaced vendors to wait a little as construction of projects offering them spaces are nearing completion.
Said vendors were displaced as a result of the city’s ongoing clearing operations.
Bellmonte told reporters on the sidelines of Monday’s 1st Asia Pacific Women Leading Law Enforcement Conference that apart from temporary areas for street-driven vendors, the city government was also looking for areas and other vacancies where vendors could sell their goods.
“We’re not trying to prevent them from making a livelihood, we’re just finding a place where they can do it,” the mayor said. “ If we do what we have been accustomed to, the moratorium style, we know that it would be hard to ask them to leave,” she said.
“That’s why it’s better that they understand from the start that it won’t happen this Christmas, and we will be looking for more sustainable and permanent vending sites for them, so that they would not be at the mercy of politicians,” she added.
Belmonte’s promise came days after vendors barred from the streets were granted spaces in a night market near a mall on North Avenue.
Dubbed as the “Sari-Sari Kyusi: Quezon City Night Market,” the local government aimed to give the Christmas season vendors a chance to earn.
According to the mayor, home vendors have been provided by owners of other private spaces in Quezon City — although she insisted the target remained to create permanent stalls.
He also shot down reports that the private sector would be allowed to buy _– public markets.
She said at least 700 vendors and malls have been on the night market and other private property owners have offered their lots as vendors’ locations.
“We are now in the process of ironing out the nature of our agreements but there’s a search for legal or permanent place for them to sell goods,” the mayor said in a mix of Filipino and English.
“I just want to assure the vendors that gossips about markets being privatized are not true, these are for the people,” she said.
“We will make them bigger, we will put parking slots, and we will ensure that all of them are accommodated,” the mayor added. (Chris Figueroa/IAMIGO/CNS)