Kamagayan vendors ‘forced’ to move to Chibogan strip

SOME vendors in Barangay Kamagayan, who were used to selling in the outskirts of the recently closed Kamagayan van-for-hire terminal, appealed not to be forced to pay the stall fees of the newly established “Chibogan sa Kamagayan” food strip in the premises.

The vendors met with city officials on Monday night, May 22, 2023, to discuss their imminent transfer to the food strip.

Maria Pino, president of the Cebu City United Vendors Association Inc. (CCUVA), said Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama wants to clear the inlet roads to the Kamagayan food strip for smoother vehicle passage.

Julie (not her real name), 30, was shocked by the new mandated transfer as she has been selling goods around the Kamagayan terminal for years.

Amber Cruz, 36, another vendor who has been selling food products outside the terminal, said the Chibogan stall fee of P300 per day was simply too expensive.

“Naguol mi asa mi maninda,” said Cruz in an interview with SunStar Cebu on Monday. (We are now worried about where to sell.)

Most of the vendors who are selling at the back of the closed terminal said they found no need to transfer to the Chibogan food strip because they have been selling in those positions for a long time.

Both Amber and Julie attended the meeting to express their concerns about their informal stalls.

They hoped the City Government will take steps to mitigate any negative impacts on the community, such as providing financial assistance to affected businesses or finding alternative locations for them to operate.

‘Not forced’

Pino said the vendors are not going to be forced to move into the Chibogan food strip, but they will have to follow the mandate to clear the entrance of the property on either side.

“Di ta ganahan mogamit anang term nga mamugos. Dili man gyod ta mamugos. Kung di sila mosulod [sa food strip], ato lang sila pasundon sa gusto sa mayor nga hawanan ang dalan. Butangan lang natog disiplina,” said Pino in a phone interview with SunStar Cebu.

(We don’t like to use the term “force.” We don’t really force anyone. If they don’t enter the food strip, we will just guide them toward the mayor’s preferred route, where food establishments are located. We just need to instill discipline.)

She clarified that not all slots in Chibogan are worth P300 per day. Stall vendors will pay for a “tent,” and the size of the tent determines the price of the daily rent.

A smaller tent should cost between P150 to P200, and at least two vendors can also share a slot so the rent can be divided between them.

There were 34 vendors affected during the closure of the Kamagayan Terminal on April 28, 2023, but only 16 agreed to join the Chibogan.

The remaining 18 either continued to sell outside the food strip or moved to other spots in the city.

Pino said the policy they will create for the vendors outside Chibogan will take into account the sentiments of the vendors.

The food strip was opened to the public on May 6, a week after the v-hire terminal for southbound vans was closed due to alleged illegal operations.

Around 70 food vendors were selling in the Chibogan as of May 7. (GLYZA ROQUERO AND DEBORAH ARCILLA, BIPSU INTERNS, DCL)