BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
Market vendors at the Burgos and Libertad public markets held separate noise barrages Saturday to protest against the surveillance testing they are required to undergo by the Bacolod City government on October 10.
The vendors at the Burgos Market also carried a banner that said that they are saying no to swab tests. Others, who have previously undergone tests do not want to be swabbed again.
Executive Assistant Ernie Pineda, head of the Quick Response Team (Extraction Cluster), said they have been informed that there were rallyists who joined the protest Saturday who were not real market vendors.
Pineda said the surveillance testing will be conducted to ensure that the tenants in the three major markets of Bacolod City are COVlD-free. This will be conducted at no cost to the market vendors.
Those who test negative can continue to sell while those who test positive will be extracted and brought to a quarantine facility, he said.
Pineda said those who will submit to swab test will be issued market pass by the City Legal Office so they have access to the markets.
He said if many will test negative, the market will be declared COVID-free.
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said they do not know who is discouraging the vendors from undergoing swab tests. They received information that the vendors were told that it will cost them P5,000 each.
Leonardia said they have a team that has been conducting an information education campaign in the markets to enlighten the vendors.
He is asking for the cooperation of everyone since the surveillance testing has been ordered by Maj. Gen. Mel Feliciano, head implementer for the Visayas of the National lnter-Agency Task Force.
Leonardia said those who test positive will be quarantined in their facility, while their families will be provided food assistance by the city.*