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January 12, 2017 02:22 AM

By: Maricyn A. De los Santos

SIDEWALKS around Jaro Plaza in Iloilo City must be free from vendors so pedestrians can walk safely and conveniently.

“Please spare Jaro Plaza,” lamented Councilor Joshua Alim as the Sangguniang Panlungsod deliberated on Jan. 10, 2017 the proposed memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the City of Iloilo and the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) for the Jaro Agro-Industrial and Charity Fair 2017.

Alim was referring to the use of the historical landmark into a commercial space every Christmas and Feast of Our Lady of Candles on February.

Alim said the bazaar inconveniences the public as even sidewalks are occupied by stalls selling various products – from plants and fruits, clay pots and furniture to ukay-ukay or used clothes, etc.

The problem has been a yearly occurrence, he said, “And I won’t mind standing up yearly to oppose it,” he added.

Alim called on the Jaro Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) to provide the City Council a map indicating the designated area for vendors as provided for in the proposed MOA.

“Diin na ibutang, diin ang limit? Dapat may mapa,” he said.

Councilor Eduardo Peñaredondo agreed with Alim that there must be no stalls in the sidewalks.

He also stressed that vendors from Iloilo City and province must be given preference over those from other provinces and towns.

Councilor Ely Estante questioned the types of products sold in the plaza. “It’s ‘Agro-Industrial Fair’ but you can lots of ukay-ukay stalls. When you say ‘agro-industrial’ they should sell let say bamboo products from Maasin, etc.”

Estante said the stalls must be on the concrete pavements only, and reminded owners to maintain discipline in the use of the public facility.

“Don’t use trees as your posts; tapos dira pa sila maluto, maligo. This should be considered by chairman of Committee on Tourism,” Estante said, and proposed the provision of portalets.

 

Meanwhile, Vice-Mayor Joe Espinosa III said this might be the last time Jaro Plaza will be used for perya as the rehabilitation of the plaza as historical landmark and tourism site is already in the pipeline.