The city government will continue to close both lanes of Session Road for the conduct of the weekend showcase encounter designed to assist micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to recover from the heavy impact inflicted by the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong claimed that there is no better place to conduct the said weekend activity if not in Session road that is why he is not inclined to transfer the same to other areas.
He urged the individuals and groups opposing the conduct of the regular Sunday showcase encounter to understand the purpose of the activity which is to help the MSMEs recover from the effects of the pandemic and that the same is done only once a week.
For those in the city public market, the local chief executive stipulated that the vendors have their own regular customers that patronize their goods and services daily while those participating in the regular Sunday showcase are doing the same only once a week.
According to him, the city government does not intend to forego the said activity because many MSMEs are benefitting from the same aside from contributing to the ongoing efforts to pedestrianize the city’s main road.
Earlier, concerned vendors from the public market trooped to the city council last week to air their opposition to the regular conduct of the Sunday showcase encounter because the products sold by the stallholders are similar to the ones being sold in the market stalls that is why they tend to incur loss in supposed income.
However, the mayor explained that the city will look into the possibility of reducing the number of stalls that will be allowed to participate in the Sunday showcase encounter to ensure the availability of more spaces where people could move around.
He added that the current number of participants will be divided into 2 groups and each group will be allowed to do their trade on an alternate basis to ensure that the prevailing implementation of the basic health and safety protocols will be strictly observed by the participants and the public.
He said that the reduction on the number of exhibitors in the different parts of Session road will be implemented the soonest so that people will have more space to move around and enjoy the road’s pedestrianization every Sunday.
The pedestrianization of Session road has been a long-standing proposal but the ordinance authorizing the same has not yet been formally passed by the local legislative body over the past several years that the said proposal had been filed for deliberation.
The pedestrianization of Session road is part of the overall strategy of the local government, concern agencies and various sectors to help in reducing the pollutants in the city’s air even for at least one day and to allow the public to enjoy its being converted into a walkable area with various offerings not only from the existing establishments but also from exhibitors that are interested to advertise their products. By Dexter A. See