THE various newsstands and watch repair stalls in the central business district have been given three more months to stay in their current spots by the city council.
Under Resolution No. 104, Series of 2022, the city council has sought the extension of the agreement between newsstand vendors and watch repair stall operators in the city and the Permits and Licensing Division (PLD) of the City Mayor’s Office, which allows said stalls to stay in their current places in the central business district, up to June of this year.
The agreement was set in place to expire in March of this year.
However, the council resolution says that where possible, the government should give consideration to the appeal of concerned citizens, which seeks for said stands to stay where they are until a concrete plan to relocate them is created and arranged.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular No. 2020-145, issued some two years ago, mandated local governments to clear obstructions to roads and sidewalks in their jurisdictions, which forced the PLD to attempt to remove the newsstands and watch repair stalls.
Initially, in compliance with the memorandum, the PLD gave said stands and stalls until June of 2021 to comply with the requirement to move and give at least 0.6 meters of berth from the sidewalks or find an appropriate relocation, pursuant to an agreement reached in a December 2020 public consultation.The stands must then be accommodated either in private establishments that agree to accommodate them or in spaces set aside by the city government.
However, with the onset of COVID-19, and the challenges it posed to livelihoods, the council had the agreement with the PLD extended twice, with the latest extension reaching up to March of 2022.
Following public criticism and a public consultation attended by journalists, publishers, general managers of newspaper organizations, and the vendors themselves, the city government agreed to delay the enactment of the relocation. The initial extension was initially set to expire on July 1, 2021, owing to a lack of a concrete plan to relocate the stands and their operators.
City Planning and Development Coordinator Donna Tabangin previously proposed that newsstands be relocated to waiting sheds in the city, but no final arrangements have yet been made.