Iloilo town combines livelihood and environmental protection

PIA Press Release 2005/11/03

Iloilo town combines livelihood and environmental protection

Cabatuan, Iloilo (3 November) -- Small initiatives like rolling stores for misplaced vendors go a long way in giving livelihood to the poor and keeping the environment orderly and healthy.

Cabatuan Mayor Ramon C. Yee kept saying his efforts were just small, but they make his leadership meaningful.

Small, misplaced vendors used to dot the busy streets and corners, including the plaza of Cabatuan, which for Mayor Yee, was not a pleasant sight for the residents and visitors alike.

He did not, however, want to deprive these poor people of their little means of livelihood, while taking the efforts to clean up the streets. What he did then was to call these vendors and presented to them the action he would take.

After several dialogues, the municipal government introduced the program Kabuhayan sa Kaunlaran 2000 project, which initially provided rolling stores for 18 poor, misplaced vendors, who sell cigarettes, candies and other handy stuffs.

The local government had rolling stores constructed with trash cans at the sides to contain garbage. They were intended to be handy and can be brought anywhere where they cannot distract commuters. But some of the vendors have located themselves in some strategic areas in the municipality, like terminals and offices.

Mayor Yee said the vendors are now issued business permits while their carts are being improved every now and then to suit the commodities they sell.

I am just happy that while I wanted to put order and cleanliness in my town, I have not deprived the poor of their means of living, Mayor Yee said.

Mayor Yee has gathered success stories of this project. One is about a vendor with a special child, who is so withdrawn and afraid to face people. When they were given a rolling store, the vendor started to bring the child with her and allowed the latter to help in selling goods, until such time that the child had overcome her difficulty and has become outgoing.

Another is that of a mother who has been a vendor for years and depend on the meager income to send her children to school. With a more presentable and decent rolling store, her vending improved, which until now sustains the education of a child in college. (PIA 6) - Timeline 2005