Martes, Setyembre 13, 2016
Vendors stage funeral march against "illegal clearing"
METRO MANILA VENDORS ALLIANCE
September 13, 2016
VENDORS STAGE FUNERAL MARCH AGAINST "ILLEGAL CLEARING"
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.