Martes, Setyembre 13, 2016

Vendors stage funeral march against "illegal clearing"

Press Statement
September 13, 2016


QUEZON CITY, PHILIPPINES - Following the illegal clearing operations along Citimall, Philcoa area in this city last Friday, September 9, 2016, which injured a couple of vendors including 76-year old Linda Ramos, vendors belonging to Metro Manila Vendors Alliance-Quezon City Chapter and Sanlakas held a funeral march-themed protest lambasting local government officials for "killing" their livelihoods and means of subsistence.

All clad in black, the vendors marched from the Quezon Memorial Circle to Citimall in what they call an "indignation rally" for the illegal clearing operations being pursued by the Quezon City Government.

"Binigyan kami ng papel na noo'y akala namin ay magandang balita. Yun pala ay Notice of Violation kung saan ay binigyan kami ng 24 oras para umalis sa mga pwesto namin sa kabila na nagbabayad kami ng market fees, sa kabila ng pahintulot na mismo ang siyudad ang nagbigay sa amin. Hindi ba paglapastangan ito sa karapatan namin? Kaming walang-wala na nga ay pagkakaitan pa," decried Mila Ogaoga, leader of the Philcoa vendors.

The Quezon City Market Code of which MMVA was party to its drafting provides for due process when violations are alleged against accredited vendors in the designated vending sites. Vendors found in violation of the same were to be issued prior three prior warning and only after which appropriate actions may be taken. The Philcoa vendors who were subjected to last Fiday's clearing operations were granted a temporary vending site.

On the pretext of implementing a 2002 Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Order, the Notice of Violation declares vending illegal. To make matters worse, vendors affected by the clearing operations will be subjected to drug testing. Ganito na lang ba ang pagtrato sa mga manininda? Kikitilin ang kanilang kabuhayan sa kabila ng mga prosesong pinagdaanan para lamang makapwesto, sa isang iglap ay wawalisin at babansagan pang mga adik at snatcher", lamented Flora Santos, coordinator of MMVA.

The clearing operations last Friday was led by Quezon City Councilor Ranulfo Ludovica who justified the action as being sanctioned by Mayor Herbert Bautista.

"We will not allow such assault on the rights and dignity of vendors to go unchallenged. At a time when the Government can hardly provide jobs and livelihoods, depriving vendors their only means of subsistence is decision to deny them their existence. It will be blood on the hands of the Quezon City Government. we call on Mayor Bautista to intervene and put a stop to the violence being forced upon the vendors", concluded Santos.

Biyernes, Setyembre 9, 2016

Soneto sa mga vendor ng Philcoa

Human barricade set up by QC vendors against illegal clearing operations

Press Release
September 9, 2016


A group of vendors situated in Philcoa, Quezon City organized a human barricade to keep agents of the QC local government from demolishing their stalls.

Members of the Metro Manila Vendors Alliance (MMVA) assembled at 8 in the morning to keep uniformed personnel from clearing the area of the vendors,most of whom have already been operating in Philcoa for more than two years.

"We were only informed of the clearing operations last September 7, and was only given 24 hours to abandon our stalls. We have consistently paid our dues to the city government and have been issued a Temporary Hawkers Permit by the Quezon City Market division," said MMVA Coordinator Tita Flor Santos. "This is why we do not understand the reason for such harsh treatment from the local government," she added.

The demolition of the vending stalls were done in correspondence with an order issued by the City Council Committee on Public Order and Security, headed by Councilor Ranulfo Ludovica. The issue was ordered in light of MMDA Resolution No. 02-28, series of 2002. Aside from the clearing operations, the vendors will also be subjected to mandatory drug testing.

"The clearing operations, put bluntly, is illegal for three reasons," said Sanlakas Secretary-General and MMVA legal counsel Atty. Aaron Pedrosa. "First of all, it violates the Market Code of Quezon City. It also deprives the Philcoa vendors of due process, as they were only informed of the demolition less than a day before," he added.

Atty. Pedrosa said that if not for the intervention of MMVA, the demolition would not have been suspended for one day. "Lastly, the City Council Committee on Public Order and Security does not have the authority to implement the suspension order. while its job is to legislate city ordinances, the power to execute rests upon the Office of the City Mayor," Atty. Pedrosa further stated.

Upon reception of the memo, MMVA has persistently requested a dialogue with QC Mayor Herbert Bautista, but the Mayor's office did not respond to any of their attempts.

"We call on Mayor Bautista and President Duterte to consider the side of vendors in these ongoing clearing operations. We ask them to cancel the demolition of our stalls," Santos pleaded. "We were promised that if we worked accorsing to the rules and did not violate any regulations, our livelihood will be protected. But now, it seems that it is the City Government which has violated that promise," she concluded.