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‘Hawkers Plaza’ rising in Intramuros

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The Intramuros Administration is putting up a "Hawkers Plaza" where displaced vendors can resume their trade.

From parked cars to vendors, the streets of Manila are a hodgepodge of city life. People have made a living on our roads, but—now that the Department of Interior and Local Government has given city mayors until September to clear out all public streets—it looks like a lot of people are about to be displaced.

The Intramuros Administration, though, has provided a glimmer of hope: The organization plans to establish a "Hawkers Plaza" to give displaced street vendors a legitimate and permanent livelihood. 

"[The vendors] have been properly given notice and volunteered to relocate to their new location. In the long term, a Hawkers Plaza will be made for the permanent location of the vendors," said the Intramuros Administration on a Facebook post dated August 5. 

According to the post, the vendors are currently at a nearby parking lot and are operating as normal. This comes after the administration held clearing operations in Intramuros, in line with directives from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

"Priority are the residents of Intramuros, to ensure sustainable livelihood for them," says Sheena Botiwey, Sales and Promotions Supervisor of the Intramuros Administration, in an online conversation with SPOT.ph. The "Hawkers Plaza" will ideally be set up by 2020, says Botiwey, and the administration will also hold livelihood training sessions.

Plaza de Santo Tomas was built in 1861 as part of the original campus of the University of Santo Tomas, and houses a monument to Father Miguel de Benavides, third Archbishop of Manila and founder of the university. In 2002, a marker was also put up to commemorate the 54 alumni who signed the 1899 Malolos Constitution. 

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