Vendors invade CDO's Divisoria Plaza, busy streets

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/09 December) – Aside from the Christmas bazaar in Divisoria Plaza, City Hall has allowed the use of busy J.R. Borja and Guillermo streets near Cogon Market for street vending.

Mayor Vicente Y. Emano said that this is in intended to help small-time vendors “eke out a living during the Christmas season.”

But critics say that the mayor is converting the city into a big “ukay-ukay market.”

Opposition councilor Edgardo Cabanlas described the Christmas bazaar in Divisoria Plaza as an eyesore and called for its transfer.

City Hall has allowed 27 ukay-ukay vendors to display their goods in Divisoria seven days a week during the Christmas season.

By virtue of Executive Order No. 072-2010, Emano gave a go-signal to at least 43 street vendors to display their Christmas items and products along a portion of J.R. Borja Street (set back 10 meters from both ends of Guillermo Street, to Capt. V. Roa Street) until December 31, 2010.

In separate orders, Emano also permitted 19 ready-to-wear clothing vendors and 15 fruit vendors to display their goods along a portion of Guillermo Street (10 meters from the corner of J.R. Borja Street), alongside Gaisano Superstore until Dec. 31 this year.

Cabanlas narrated that when he visited Divisoria one evening, he was shocked to learn that he had to literally hurdle and duck in what appeared to be an obstacle course of makeshift tents and shelters which sell second-hand, hand-me-down albeit imported clothes.

He said the mayor should weigh things before allowing ukay-ukay hawkers to display their wares in Divisoria.

“I am praying to the mayor nga ibalhin ang (to transfer the) bazaar ug ibalik ang parke ngadto sa mga turista (and give the park back to the tourists), senior citizens ug uban pa nga gusto’ng mo-enjoy sa pagsuroy sa sentro sa dakbayan (and others who wish to enjoy going around the heart of the city),” he said.

“The mayor is again littering the city that is not of his birth but only of his political hegemony,” said Dr. Antonio Montalban of the Heritage Conservation Advocates.

Councilor Juan Sia, chairperson of the committee on commerce, said the committee will study Cabanlas’s call.

Emano ordered Acting City Police Director Col. Benedicto B. Lopez and Roads and Traffic Administration executive overseer Col. Antonio C. Montalba to maintain orderliness, cleanliness, peace and order in the areas conceded to the vendors. (BenCyrus G. Ellorin/MindaNews)