By Chito Chavez
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte has started to employ measures that will strike a balance between ensuring the livelihood of illegal vendors and maintaining order in the city’s roads and sidewalks.
“Ang pagtutok natin sa usapin ng mga illegal vendors sa mga kalsada ng QC ay may mas malamin na hangarin. Kailangan natin ng pangmatagalang solusyon dito para sa huli, maibalik natin ang dignidad ng paghahanapbuhay sa Quezon City (Our focus with regards to the illegal vendors plying their trade on QC’s streets has a deeper purpose. We need to have long term solutions in the end to bring baack the dignity of providing livelihood in Quezon City),” Belmonte said.
Belmonte has started holding dialogues with organized vendor groups in the city, vowing to ensure their livelihood and to find sustainable solutions to the problem of illegal hawkers.
“Sinimulan na nating makipagpulong sa iba’t ibang grupo ng vendors sa siyudad para makapaglatag tayo ng pangmatagalang solusyon sa problema ng illegal vendors (We have started conducting dialogues with various vendors’ groups in the city to find lasting solutions to the problems of the illegal vendors),” added Belmonte.
In the midst of maintaining order on the streets, Belmonte insisted the pressing need to ensure the welfare and livelihood of the affected vendors.
Last Saturday, Belmonte met with a group of vendors, who have requested her assistance to find a spot where they can ply their trade without the fear of being displaced, or being the cause of obstruction to pedestrians and traffic.
“The barangay where they are based has agreed to provide them with land that could accommodate around 300 vendors,” said Belmonte.
Belmonte plans to meet with each organized vendor groups in Quezon City to help craft solutions to their problems and generate support for the city’s crackdown against illegal vendors.
“Sama-sama nating hanapan ng magandang solusyon ang problema ng illegal vendors habang napapanatili natin ang kanilang kapasidad na kumita para sa kanilang pamilya (We should unite in coming up with solutions to the woes of the illegal vendors to maintain their earning capacity for their families),” Belmonte pointed out.
Belmonte is also in the middle of negotiations with private markets to provide illegal vendors with affordable terms until they have the capacity to pay rent.
“Sa abot ng ating makakaya, sisikapin nating tulungan ang mga illegal vendor upang hindi maapektuhan ang kanilang kabuhayan at pantustos sa pangangailangan ng pamilya (We are trying our best to provide the necessary assistance to the illegal vendors to help them provide for their families),” Belmonte emphasized.
Since assuming office, Belmonte has ordered an intensified campaign to clear sidewalks and major roads of illegal hawkers to allow the smooth flow of traffic and pedestrian.