BAGUIO CITY – The city government will continue implementing an aggressive and massive anti-peddling campaign in order to rid the city’s main roads with ambulant vendors who usually clog the sidewalks and cause inconvenience among local residents and visitors alike, Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said.
He said despite the depleted force of the Public Order and Safety Division (POSD), the city will still be relentless in its anti-peddling campaign pursuant to existing ordinances in order to sustain the gains of efforts to clear the city public market and sidewalks within the central business district area from obstructions that impede the smooth flow of pedestrian traffic.
“We appeal to our ambulant vendors to comply with the existing anti-vending policy of the city in order to free our market and sidewalks from obstructions pursuant to existing policies,” Domogan stressed.
It can be recalled that members of the Baguio-Boracay Re-development Task Force criticized the city government because of the proliferation of sidewalk vendors in the city public market and sidewalks in the central business district area which is not in accordance to the status of the city as an ecotourism destination which promoted the city government to conduct an all-out campaign to rid the city’s public places with ambulant vendors.
The local chief executive asserted even if the city’s anti-peddling policy will be used as a political issue against him, he will not hesitate to implement what would be for the benefit of the greater majority of the populace which is to clear the public market and sidewalks from ambulant vendors that serve as obstructions to the smooth flow of pedestrian traffic.
He ordered the POSD personnel and elements of the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) to continue conducting anti-peddling operations all over the city in order to instil discipline among ambulant vendors not to do their illegal trade in prohibited areas for them to find a good place to do their business such as in the satellite markets in the different barangays, among other private properties in identified potential business areas around the city.
The city government hired at least 60 personnel of the POSD to perform duties and responsibilities relative to anti-peddling operations in order to sustain the clearing of the public market and sidewalks from ambulant vendors.
“We had been receiving citations over our unrelenting anti-peddling operations but we will not stop there. We need to sustain the gains of the program so that they will not brand it is ningas cogon,” he said.
Domogan argued it is very difficult to balance the situation in the case of supposed erring POSD personnel and ambulant vendors because the aggrieved parties, usually the ambulant vendors, create scenarios that tend to depict the law enforcers to be arrogant, disrespectful and insensitive among others.
He called on the vendors for utmost cooperation on the city’s anti-vending policy in order to prevent perennial conflicts that tend to depict the POSD personnel as ‘bad boys’ in the performance of their assigned duties and responsibilities.
He also appealed to legitimate businessmen in the public market not to field ambulant vendors along sidewalks in order to prevent future misunderstanding with POSD personnel strictly enforcing the anti-peddling policy. By Dexter A. See