Iloilo mayor tears down used clothes stalls in public plaza so he can have night market for ‘ukay-ukay’

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Acting Iloilo City Mayor Jose Espinosa III is considering a night market for “ukay-ukay” and other dry goods as the city government intensifies its drive against second-hand goods being sold in public plaza.

Espinosa on Wednesday said that plazas served as convergence zones where people rest and for other recreational activities. He said that such places should be reserved for that purpose.

He already signed Executive Order No. 94 directing the “immediate demolition of structures/kiosks around the perimeter of Mandurriao plaza utilized for the display and trade of used clothing.”

The kiosks, specifically along Q. Abeto Street, were found to be “causing hindrance to pedestrians and motorists,” according to the order that was implemented Wednesday afternoon.

Last week, Espinosa also ordered the demolition of kiosks selling ukay-ukay inside the Jaro plaza because the permit granted to the Iloilo City Association of Community Elders (ICACE) Inc, Jaro chapter was only for the conduct of the garden show and trade fair.

However, Espinosa said that “ukay-ukay” goods were also being sold in other major cities and places in the country so there was no reason that such kind of business should be totally banned.

“We also give leeway because those who could not afford (new ones) resort to (buying) ‘ukay-ukay’. Some of those being sold are also signature items,” he said.

One option is to implement a night market to accommodate them, he said.

“I am very interested in night market. Even first class cities in industrialized countries have night markets. Meaning to say it is an activity that provides livelihood likewise helps those who could not afford to buy expensive items,” he explained.

The plan will be subjected to a proper consultation. Espinosa did not hear objections when he presented the proposal during Wednesday’s meeting with department heads of the Iloilo City government.

Mayor Jed Patrick in the past years also mulled the establishment of a night market but it did not push through. (PNA)