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Let’s treat street vendors as people, not problems

There’s been a lot of controversy on the street clearing operations in Manila, lately, and netizens have been quick to comment, propose solutions (many uninformed or exclusive to the middle and high classes), and create opinions without understanding the ongoings, or communicating with vendors themselves.

So I wrote this op-ed piece, which was published by CNN Philippines Life. My many thanks to the editorial team for agreeing to publish my write-up.

While we’re on the topic, here’s a shoutout to People Make Cities!, a group led by urban planner Julia Nebrija, who held a roundtable discussion with street vendors last weekend. Here are a few photos:

Look at all the urbanites interested in the discussion of understanding why street vendors stay where they are. Great to discuss organic markets, the need for them, and how they live daily. (Photo from People Make Cities!)
With street vendors who were cleared in the recent operations. (Photo from People Make Cities!)
Learned a lot from Julia in this event. (Photo from People Make Cities!)
Creating the understanding.
It was great to have so many dynamic people in this roundtable. We were also joined by the Paolo Alcazaren towards the end of the discussion.

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