The Bacolod City government has set aside an additional P2.04 million for the P5,000 cash assistance for each of the 408 vendors displaced by the ongoing road-clearing operations.
The first 78 vendors received their cash assistance last Friday, January 29. The rest will receive theirs within this week.
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 that was mandated by a presidential directive in relation to measures against COVID-19.
Prior to last Friday’s distribution, the city government had already given P1.7 million worth of livelihood assistance to 340 other vendors, each also receiving P5,000.
In total, the city government – through the DSSD – is in the process of distributing P3.74 million worth of financial assistance to 748 displaced vendors.
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 November 11, 2020, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) 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 November 16, 2020 to January 15, 2021.
Undersecretary Bernardo Florece Jr., DILG OIC, however, issued a memorandum last January 19 extending the deadline until February 15, 2021.
Full implementation of road clearing was undertaken in Bacolod as the city transitioned into a modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), which, under DILG Memorandum Circular 2020-027, would require the local government unit to adopt all components of the road-clearing operations.
In Bacolod, the areas affected were Downtown, Central Market, Burgos Market, and Libertad Market, wherein several vendors were displaced./WDJ