Street food stalls around the University were forced to shut down following the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) 60-day deadline for the closure of illegal structures on public roads.

Vendors on Dapitan Street were given until Monday, Aug. 19, to vacate their stalls and spaces.

Dapat talaga, kahapon (Aug. 16), sarado na kaming lahat. Pero nakiusap kami kay kapitan na bigyan kami hanggang this week para ubusin lang namin mga paninda namin at sa Lunes na kami magsasara,” Jerson Morales, a street vendor, told the Varsitarian.

(We should have closed yesterday [Aug. 16]. But we pleaded with the village chairman to give us until the end of the week to sell all our goods, then we will be closed starting Monday.)

According to Brgy. 471 Kagawad Evelyn Rodriguez, Barangay Chairman Osmundo Perez wanted the streets rid of sidewalk vendors by Monday before the barangay (village) flag ceremony.

“Sa Monday kasi, may flag ceremony dito. By that time, gusto ni kapitan na [wala nang sidewalk vendors],” Rodriguez told the Varsitarian.

However, the spaces previously occupied by the vendors are now filled with parked private vehicles.

Sumusunod naman kami, pero sana bigyan naman kami ng kaunting lugar. Ang road obstructions talaga ay ang mga sasakyan. ‘Di naman kami obstruction,” said Rodriguez, who also closed her sidewalk eatery along Navarra Street following the orders.

(We are complying with the order, but we hope they give us some space. The cars are the real road obstructions. We are not obstructions.)

Vendors on España Street were also affected by the order.

Pinaalis kami, mga tatlong linggo na. Mga pulis nagpaalis sa amin. Sabi nila bawal na [sa España]. Ngayon lang nangyari ‘to,” Jaime Canio, a newspaper vendor for 59 years told the Varsitarian.

(We were told to leave three weeks ago. Police told us to leave. They said we’re not allowed on España. It’s the first time this happened.)

Canio and other vendors were forced to relocate to minor streets and were told to stay in areas where pedestrians’ walking spaces wouldn’t be affected.

Vendors in España relocated to other streets following DILG’s order. (Photo by Camilla Abiel H. Torres/ the Varsitarian)

The closures were done following DILG’s Memorandum No. 2019-121 released July 29, where Secretary Eduardo Año ordered all local government units to clear public roads of illegal private structures, in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive during his 2019 State of the Nation Address.


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