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QC halts retail selling at Balintawak markets over distancing concerns

Only wholesale selling and dropoff of products would be allowed in several Balintawak markets to maintain social distancing requirements and prevent further  COVID-19 infections, the Quezon City government announced on Saturday night.

Quezon City officials met with the owners of the  Cloverleaf, North Diversion, Riverview I, Riverview II, Pilson’s, MC, and Edsan Bagsakan markets and all parties agreed that retail sales would no longer be allowed in these markets.

“Napagkasunduan sa pulong na itigil muna ang retail operations o bentahan nang tingi sa mga palengke sa Balintawak,” said Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte.

Wholesale operations would continue as the Balintawak markets were crucial in ensuring the supply of vegetables and other farm products in various parts of Metro Manila.

“Starting tomorrow, we expect the crowd to thin out in the area,” added Belmonte, pointing out that more than half of marketgoers in Balintawak were from neighboring cities.

According to Assistant City Administrator for Operations Alberto Kimpo, the market owners themselves would ensure that only their wholesale operations remained.

While all retail stalls would be closed until further notice, the affected retail vendors would be accommodated by the QC Fresh Market on Wheels program.

“They will be picked up by jeepneys that the city will hire and will be brought to various barangays where they can sell their goods,” said Kimpo. — DVM, GMA News