Martes, Oktubre 6, 2009

MMVA letter published at the Inquirer - Nov. 22, 2002

Letter to the Editor
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Friday, November 22, 2002


We are not against the law. We also want orderliness and cleanliness. We are ready to leave our places along the sidewalks. In fact, we don't really want this dangerous way of making a living. We also want every Filipino to live a decent and prosperous life. We have great esteem for this genuine objective.

But our simple question is this: If we leave this kind of livelihood, how are we to survive? To have a proper market stall, we have to pay an exorbitant fee, aside from the electric bill (PPA included). Our houses are also under demolition threats. There aren't enough jobs waiting for us. The prices of commodities have increased due to the impending US-Iraq war and the inefficient running of our government. Our economy is in the drain; poverty has worsened.

These are not mere excuses as some people may think. We are not making use of our poverty to justify selling on the sidewalks. We just want to earn a living while there is no other option provided by the government.

But instead of understanding and offering an alternative solution to our plight, the MMDA and not the PNP, is after us like a mad dog. It claims that the law is on its side while ignoring the cause of our poverty and our reason for remaining on the sidewalks. We shall never win over this system unless our situation is understood and addressed.

Actually, as poverty worsens, the number of vendors will increase because it is a more decent way of living, unlike stealing, killing, or other crimes. We have been asking for a dialogue not only with the MMDA but also with other government agencies. Our minds and hearts are open to an alternative means of livelihood and consultations regarding our requests.

- METRO MANILA VENDORS ALLIANCE (Translated from Filipino by Sr. Teresa Cristobal)

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