CITY HALL TO BRGY. ERMITA: STOP P10 COLLECTION FROM VENDORS
The Cebu City Treasurer’s Office ordered all Barangay Ermita officials and employees to stop collecting P10 a day from vendors in the vicinity of the Carbon public market.
This, as Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña clarified that he will suspend the allowances of the barangay workers of Ermita only, and not the 10 other barangays as he earlier said.
“I misquoted myself. Only Ermita’s allowances will be suspended. As for the 10 barangays, I changed my mind, I wanted to suspend their allowances as well but I decided to give them a chance to prove themselves,” he said yesterday.
Thirty-five barangay workers in Ermita stand to be affected by the order. Of the 35 barangay workers, 10 are Lupon Tagapamayapa members who receive P3,000 each per month, 20 barangay tanods who receive P4,000 per month, and five drivers who receive P5,000 per month.
Ermita’s three garbage loaders will continue to receive their P5,000 monthly allowance.
Also yesterday, City Treasurer Tessie Camarillo sent Ermita Barangay officials her order asking them to stop collecting P10 from the market vendors.
“Treasurer hereby orders you to terminate the collection of ‘arkabala’ from vendors selling their wares at the vicinity of the Cityowned market, the undersigned having not deputized any of you to collect any taxes and fees due for the use of any City-owned property,” Camarillo’s order read.
In his reply to Camarillo’s letter, Ermita Barangay Captain Felicisimo “Imok” Rupinta said only the court can stop their voluntary solicitation.
He said they collect it only from sidewalk vendors, and not from those who sell inside the market.
He argued that the “solicitation is legal, voluntary, necessary and has a corresponding ordinance.”
Rupinta also clarified that the vendors who were told to move out of their vending areas were kicked out because of a petition signed by over 30 residents of Er- mita, and not because they failed to pay the P10 voluntary contribution.
The residents reportedly complained about the wastes and stench coming from the fish and chicken that the vendors sell.
“I’m making good on the petition because people are complaining. It’s muddy, it stinks, even when we told them to clean up after themselves, they didn’t listen,” Rupinta said in Bisaya.
Erwin Piñaford, Rupinta’s secretary, said the barangay’s funds are not enough to pay their workers that is why they came up with the idea of soliciting from the vendors.
“Our budget is only more or less P20,000 to pay all our workers every day. Without the P10 arkabala, we could never be able to pay everyone who works for the barangay,” he explained.
In a separate interview, Councilor David Tumulak said the con- flict between Ermita officials and some vendors resulted in a confrontation yesterday dawn.
“Allegedly there were tanods who took the legs of the tables that the vendors were using to sell their goods, causing everything to fall on the ground. Good thing there were police who pacified them,” he said.
He also suggested that if the barangay wants to run after some vendors, they should go through the process and file a complaint.
Osmeña said the barangay workers’ lack of respect for the City Government and the vendors is the reason he suspended their allowances.
“This is not tolerable. I cannot allow this to happen in our city,” he said.
The mayor said that the City will file all kinds of cases against Ermita officials and if they want to challenge the City Government, he would use all legal options available.
Some vendors, though, have no problem paying the P10 arkabala.
“I don’t mind paying P10 because it’s for the barangay after all,” said Maryann, a fish vendor.
Julieta, a chicken vendor, said they use to pay the barangay P10 a day but they stopped doing so when City Hall told them not to. /
I misquoted myself. Only Ermita’s allowances will be suspended. TOMAS OSMEñA Mayor, Cebu City