By Mae Singuay
Bacolod City government officials explained why there were some fish vendors who were excluded in the raffle draw to avail of a stall at Central Market on Friday, September 22.
Councilor Celia Flor, chair of the Sangguniang Panlungsod committee on markets, said their names were not included because they failed to meet qualifications in the raffle.
She said they were forfeited due to their arrears for their use of the stalls.
“Ang mga na-disqualified amo na, gin-close na ang ila mga stalls sang una kay waay sila kabayad,” Flor said.
“Gin-monitor man na sila for so many weeks, wala naman sila nagabaligya. Actually, lima man lang to sila ang na-disqualified,” she added.
The vendors must do business regularly, pay on time, and have acquired a stall before the renovation of the Central Market, Flor said.
The Bonifacio Street beside the Central Market served as its temporary fish section.
Meanwhile, City Legal Officer Romeo Carlos Ting, Jr. said the disqualified vendors made an appeal to the city government as they want to settle their arrears so that they can avail of the stalls.
However, 90 fish vendors have already availed the stalls in the raffle.
Ting said their arrears have reached thousands because of failure to pay for several years.
The city government decided to conduct a raffle for fish vendors due to the limited number of market stalls.
The raffle purposely aimed for fair distribution of the stalls.
At least 117 fish vendors joined in the raffle on Friday.
Jennifer dela Peña, a fish vendor in the Central Market for almost three decades, in a media interview last week, complained that her name was not on the masterlist.
Based on the record from the market supervisor, Dela Peña has had arrears for about two months.
She thought that she had no arrears in the city government.
Ting said vendors who were not able to avail may obtain night market stalls instead./MS, WDJ