Vendors selling “ukay-ukay” or used clothing at the Bacolod Public Plaza voluntarily packed up their goods yesterday afternoon before the City Legal Office Composite Enforcement Team arrived to demolish their structures.
Cesar Beloria, Composite Enforcement Team leader, yesterday said there was no resistance from the vendors and some of the stalls did not operate yesterday as he was informed Tuesday evening that they were willing to cooperate with the city.
Permits and Licensing Division head Vicente Petierre III said that, based on the affidavit of commitment they have signed, they are authorizing the CLO, City Mayor’s Office or even the Bacolod City Police Office, to pull out their items and demolish their structures if they have violated any requirement in the issuance of a special permit.
He said the vendors have not yet been issued special permits but they had already committed a violation by selling “ukay-ukay” at the plaza, so the city has the right to remove their structures.
Petierre said they will be given an opportunity to transfer their business to another area in the city.
When informed that there were some who wanted to change their items from “ukay-ukay” to fruits or Christmas decors, which are allowed, City Administrator John Orola Jr. said that if the vendors wanted to negotiate with the city, they should have done it earlier.
However, he said, he had not received any communication from them.
Orola also said there are many other opportunities for trade fairs and the city is looking for other areas where “ukay-ukay” vendors can continue their livelihood.
They are now preparing the public plaza and beautifying it with the help of the three major markets for the coming Feast of San Sebastian and the BacoLaodiat Festival, he said.
Meanwhile, Orola said there were allegations that the association paid about P150,000 to certain people connected with the city but as he has not received any complaint about that he could not initiate any investigation. And if there is a letter complaint, it will not be entertained if it is not signed, he added.*CGS