City Officials to tackle concerns of vendors affected by Road Clearing Operations

BAGUIO CITY – (June 2, 2021) – The city officials will discuss various concerns of street vendors in different barangays that are affected by the city government’s ongoing road clearing operations.

The forum is scheduled on June 7, 2021 during the city officials’ regular executive-legislative meeting right after the flag raising ceremony.

The city council has invited the Department of Works and Highways (DPWH), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the City Engineering Office (CEO) to attend the forum.

During the regular session last Monday, seven talipapa vendors sought the help of the council regarding their request to stay and continue their business operation beside a national road at Country Club Village Barangay.

Councilor Michael Lawana, ABC President, said the displacement of vendors due to the implementation of anti-obstruction laws is a city-wide issue, affecting all barangays in the city.

Lawana stressed that the city government has to come up with long-term solutions to help affected individuals while pursuing its mandate against illegal obstructions.

In December 2020, the talipapa vendors at Country Club Village Barangay received a notice of violation from the CEO for encroachment into the road-right-of-way.

Engineer Januario Borillo, Traffic and Transport Management Head of the CEO, said the city government continues to undertake inspections on city and national roads pursuant to a presidential directive to clear roads of illegal obstructions. The national mandate has prompted his office to issue notices of violation to residents who have built structures within the road-right-of-way, he added.

Engineer Rene Zarate, District Engineer of the DPWH-BCDEO, said a notice of obstruction will also be issued to the talipapa vendors by his office pursuant to existing national orders and in consonance with the action made by the CEO.

According to Kagawad Nestor Almag, the barangay council did not issue the talipapa vendors a clearance for fear of bearing the brunt. The Permits and Licensing Division under the City Mayor’s Office likewise stopped issuing the vendors a special permit following the notice of violation issued to them by the CEO.

Almag said there is no favorable relocation area in the barangay for the talipapa vendors.

The city legislators concluded that the city council cannot craft any legislation supporting the appeal of the vendors as such action is in contravention with the presidential order urging the implementation of road clearing operations.

The forum to be held on June 7 is aimed at threshing out the problem and coming up with acceptable solutions to the plight of the affected vendors in various barangays.  –Jordan G. Habbiling