HomeLEAPS: Miriam College Faculty Research Journalvol. 19 no. 1 (2000)

Ambulant Vendors: Economic Issues and Concerns

Jasmin Nario Galace

Discipline: Economics, Social Science



Ambulant vending is a popular source of livelihood in the Philippines. Ambulant vendors in the country are either itinerant or semi-static. Itinerant vendors are those who go around shouting their wares while semi-static ones are those who are semi-fixed positions but may move about as the situation necessitates. This study sought to establish a socio-demographic profile of the sector, its economic situation and socio-economic and political concerns. Thirty-seven vendors from Metro Manila and Bulacan were interviewed for this research.


Ambulant vendors are predominantly male, young, married migrants from the country's poorest provinces and dwell in the city's most populous areas. They have had some form of basic schooling and are working as ambulant vendors for lack of opportunity and skill. The primary reason for wanting to earn is to support basic needs of the family and finance education of children. Education is seen as a vehicle for social and economic mobility. Ambulant vending is a viable employment alternative since the vendor's average income is higher than the minimum wage. With the high unemployment in the country, ambulant vending activities should get the attention and support it deserves from government.