An additional P2.04 million has been set aside by the Bacolod City Government as cash assistance to 408 vendors displaced by the ongoing road-clearing operations in the city.
The first 78 of the 408 vendors received their cash assistance of P5,000 each on Friday, and the rest will receive theirs within this week by batches, to observe the social distancing protocol.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran led the distribution of financial assistance to the vendor-recipients, who were displaced by the road-clearing operations mandated by a presidential directive, in relation to measures against Covid-19, a press release from the city said.
Before the distribution on Friday, the city government had also given P1.7 million worth of livelihood assistance to 340 vendors, each receiving P5,000.
The city government – through the Department of Social Services and Development – is in the process of distributing P3.74 million worth of financial assistance to 748 displaced vendors, the press release also said.
Section 4 (II) of Republic Act 11494, or the “Bayanihan to Recover as One Act”, provides that part of the Covid-19 response and recovery interventions includes the regulation of traffic on all roads, streets and bridges, and access thereto and the prohibition against putting up of encroachments or obstacles.
On Nov. 11, 2020, the Department of the Interior and Local Government issued Memorandum Circular No. 2020-145, ordering local government units to comply with the presidential directive to resume the clearing of roads of illegal structures and constructions from Nov. 16, 2020 to Jan. 15, 2021.
Undersecretary Bernardo Florece Jr., DILG OIC, however, issued a memorandum on Jan. 19 extending the deadline until Feb. 15 this year.
The full implementation of road clearing was undertaken in Bacolod as the city transitioned into a Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) status, which, under DILG Memorandum Circular 2020-027, would require the LGU to adopt all components of the road-clearing operations.
In Bacolod, the areas affected are downtown, Central Market, Burgos Market, and Libertad Market. As a result, several vendors were displaced, the press release said.
In response, Leonardia ordered the distribution of livelihood assistance to help the displaced sellers, executive assistant Ernesto Pineda said. Assisting Leonardia and Familiaran in Friday’s distribution were councilors Renecito Novero and Bartolome Orola, Emergency Operations Center executive director and City Administrator Em Ang, DSSD head Pacita Tero, and assistant city administrator Allyn Luv Zamora-Dignadice, the press release added.*