DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 30 March) — The number of illegal vendors – ambulant sellers who used to block the sidewalks of downtown Davao – has ropped in the past two years since the “Tiangge sa Katawhan,” also known as the night market along Roxas Avenue, was established, an official said.
Retired Col. Yusof Jimlani, chief of the city’s Drainage and Management Unit (DMU) told Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao on Monday that his office noted a significant decrease in the number of illegal vendors.
He admitted that there are still some hard-headed vendors who illegally occupy the sidewalks but “less na lang kaayo ang gubot (the clutter is lesser)” compared with the pre-“Tiangge” days.
With only a month left before he steps out of office, Jimlani said they will recommend to the next DMU chief Mayor-elect Sara Duterte-Carpio will appoint, to continue the gains of the city’s efforts.
He said he will submit to the successor their accomplishment reports so that they will know what approach they will to do to sustain and improve it.
“We cannot afford to let them go back to the illegal way…. we are completing the accomplishment report that will be passed on to the next office,” he said.
Last week, Jimlani said the DMU conducted 11 demolitions in the city’s sidewalks and overpasses as they noted that there were still people who occupied the overpasses, most especially in Matina, Bankerohan, and Gaisano Mall in Bajada.
Some of the illegal occupants had made the overpasses dumping areas for broken glasses while others made them their temporary shelters.
He added that they gave first-time offenders the chance but for people with previous violations “we really demolished” (their structures).
His office is coordinating with the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) to maintain the cleanliness of the overpasses because some commuters have opted against using them.
Jimlani said the concept of a night market, now one of the city’s tourist destinations, came about when they briefed some 3,000 sidewalk vendors on the demolition on August 13, 2013.
On December 10, 2013, the City Council passed Ordinance No. 089-13, a measure “creating the policies and guidelines in the establishment and regulation of the night and weekend street market in the City of Davao.
On January 10, 2014, the DMU conducted a second Demolition Briefing and Introduction of Tiangge sa Katawhan to all ambulant vendors. On January 22, 2014, the city opened the night market.
The “Tiangge” along Roxas Avenue has at present a total of 705 vendors, most of them (353) selling ukay-ukay (used clothes) followed by those selling accessories (188), and 164 selling food, Jimlani reported.
Expanding the night market to other areas will depend on the demand of the vendors for additional space, he said, noting there are still 48 slots available.
In 2015, revenues from the night market increased by almost twofolds at P5.47 million from 2.24 million in 2014.
From January to March 2016, JImlani said vendors earned a total of P1.75 million.
“We are expecting triple sales by end of this year,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)