Street Vendors to Be Legalized
by Sol Jose Vanzi
Manila, June 28, 2001 - Street and ambulant vendors may soon be issued identification cards by the government allowing them to ply their trade in certain areas.
The move to legalize street vending was affirmed yesterday after national government agencies signed a memorandum of agreement to uphold and protect the rights of the informal sector of society.
The agencies that signed the memorandum of agreement were the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Labor, Department of Trade and Industry and the League of Provinces.
Interior Secretary Jose Lina said the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) are aimed at providing protection to street and ambulant vendors while at the same time addressing the problem of traffic congestion and garbage caused by the sector.
"Through this IRR, the government affirms its commitment to uphold and protect the rights of our workers in the informal sector, especially our vendors," Lina said.
Under the agreement, city and municipal governments through an ordinance shall designate markets, vacant areas near markets, public parks or side streets as the certified workplaces of ambulant and sidewalk vendors.
The local government, however, will conduct a headcount among vendors and register them as informal workers who will be under the control and supervision of vendors associations.
No unregistered vendors or peddlers will be allowed to ply their trade in local government units.
To prevent displacement of market vendors in case a public market is closed, sold or abolished, the IRR calls for the relocation of displaced vendors to a temporary or new market.
The agreement further promotes the organization of vendors associations for their mutual aid, benefit, protection and to ensure their members perform their responsibilities.
These responsibilities include maintaining cleanliness in their workplace as well as helping ensure the smooth flow of traffic in the area and strict compliance with the weight and price tag law.
Legalized street vending was provided for in Executive Order 452 in 1997 as part of the Social Reform Agenda of government.
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