Baguio earmarks P5 million livelihood assistance for displaced vendors

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The city government earmarked some P5 million as its counterpart fund for assistance to displaced vendors heavily impacted by the implementation of the prevailing community quarantine to allow them to gradually recover their lost livelihoods.

Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong said that the city government’s counterpart for the P5 million earlier committed to him by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III will be the overall seed money to assist the displaced vendors re-establish their economic activities and sources of livelihood.

One of the conditions of the grant of this livelihood assistance is for the vendor beneficiaries to organize themselves into a cooperative through which the grant will be coursed through for them to resume their economic activities, especially in the city’s parks.

He added that vending in the city’s parks will be strictly regulated where such activities will only be done in the uniform kiosks to be constructed in strategic areas to prevent the vendors from being scattered in various portions of the parks.

The city chief executive reported that the social preparation for the organization of the displaced vendors into a cooperative is being spearheaded by the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) to provide the group a juridical personality for it to be able to deal with the local government and the labor department on how to avail of the earmarked funds for this livelihood assistance.

During the recent meetings conducted by the CSWDO as part of the social preparation, vendors who lost their livelihoods during this quarantine period have expressed their support to the ongoing initiatives of the city government to organize them into a cooperative for them to be able to avail of this assistance.

Under the city’s livelihood assistance program, financial assistance will be extended to organized groups to enable them to recover from the economic slump resulting from the implementation of community quarantine to combat the spread of the deadly virus in the city.

The city, through the CSWDO, will spearhead the social preparation for the organization of the vulnerable and marginalized sectors into groups, like cooperatives, to allow them to avail of financial assistance from both the city government and the labor department to allow the displaced members to re-establish their economic activities under a new set up.

The local funds and that from the labor department will be pooled for the needed capital for the established cooperative of displaced vendors to start up their desired economic activities in identified strategic areas in the different parks around the city and prevent them from roaming around that might expose them to the virus and untoward incidents that might compromise their health and safety.

By Dexter A. See

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