THE Makabayan bloc in Congress filed a resolution seeking to investigate the implementation of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular 2019-121 which serves as a basis to displace sidewalk vendors in Metro Manila and other cities.
“Dapat na kagyat na irebyu ang basehan at implikasyon ng clearing operations na ito na iniuutos ng DILG, lalo na’t ginagamit ito para walisin at tanggalan ng kabuhayan ang mga vendors. Hindi dapat na ituring na krimen ang paghahanap-buhay nang marangal (It should urgently review the basis and implications of these clearing operations mandated by the DILG, especially as it is used to sweep and displace vendors. Living a dignified life should not be considered a crime),” Gabriela Party List Representative Arlene D. Brosas said in a statement released on Thursday.
The memorandum order issued by the DILG directs concerned authorities to reclaim public roads which are being used for private ends and for “riddance of illegal structures and constructions.”
Local executives were also directed to revoke permits that give authority to private entities to occupy public roads, alleys, and other thoroughfares.
The road clearing operation, which initially ended on Sept. 29, is now a continuous program of the government, the DILG said.
DILG Memorandum Circular 2020-027, the new memorandum that contains the order to continue the clearing operations, was released on Feb. 7.
As declared in the memorandum order, local governments are encouraged to develop and implement strategies that will address the displacement issues caused by the implementation of the program.
In certain areas, consultations with the affected vendors were not conducted which resulted in the disruption of their livelihoods, the Makabayan bloc said in its resolution.
Ms. Brosas said that according to more than 5,000 vendors in Manila, no consultations were conducted regarding the clearing operations, and neither were they offered an alternative place for their livelihood. Street vendors along Batasan Road in Quezon City were also displaced without being assigned a definite place to relocate to.
“I would like to remind the DILG that protecting and upholding the rights and welfare of the marginalized should be the government’s priority. The negligence of the concerned officials to address the plight of the vendors is a clear manifestation of the government’s lack of concern on the welfare of the poor,” Ms. Brosas said. — Genshen L. Espedido