DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 20 Oct) – The local government of Davao plans to readjust the opening of the popular Roxas Night Market to an earlier time since the reimposition of the curfew from 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. starting October 15 until December 31 has affected the livelihood of the market vendors and massage therapists, Mayor Sara Duterte said.
She said that authorities are still discussing the possibility of moving the operating hours to 4:00-7:00 p.m. instead of the current 5:00-7:00 p.m. to allow vendors and massage therapists more time for their livelihood at the night market.
“May I just remind everyone that this is not yet approved. We have discussed this with the offices involved in the operations of the Roxas Night Market. But what will happen is that they may be allowed to open at 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.,” she said.
Vendors and massage therapists are given two hours to sell their goods and services when the curfew was reimposed amid the surge in the confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases here.
Since it reopened at 25% capacity last September 12, the night market, a popular destination for street food, “ukay-ukay” (used clothes), and massage services, was allowed to operate from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. from Mondays to Sundays.
Last October 12, Duterte said the local government would not meddle in the decision of the vendors should they decide to discontinue going to the night market, considering the shorter time they are allowed to open.
“We do not delve into the decision of one person if they would still want to do business or not. For us, we would just keep the market open for them. It’s up to them. We will not force them to,” she said.
Duterte said that the curfew must be reimposed to restrict the non-essential activities of the people.
“We are trying to shorten the time wherein the people could do ‘extracurricular’ activities other than their work,” she said.
Duterte said she also anticipated more people going out during the holiday season.
As of October 19, the Department of Health-Davao recorded 4,065 cases with 3,140 recoveries and 143 deaths.
Of these total cases, the city reported the most number of confirmed positives at 2,678 with 560 active cases.
The province of Davao de Oro reported 259 cases, Davao del Norte with 443, Davao del Sur with 289, Davao Occidental with 95, and Davao Oriental with 301. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)