ALARMED by the drug problem involving barkers and “illegal” pay-parking attendants in Quezon City, District 2 Councilor Ranulfo Ludovica wants to create a duly registered association with the Securities and Exchange Commission to provide them with a legal livelihood.
In an interview, Ludovica said the involvement of some barkers and parking boys in illegal drugs, often as users, was “alarming.”
“It’s good I was able to operate along Timog Avenue and Tomas Morato Avenue [to drive away the barkers and attendants]. At least 80 percent of the 130 barkers there before were found positive of drug use. Of the 100, only 65 of them were still there, but they were able to recover [from drug use],” he told Manila Standard.
The stretch of Timog and Tomas Morato is popular for its restaurants, bars and other food businesses.
Ludovica cited two city ordinances aimed at ridding the streets of barkers at illegal transport terminals and pay-parking attendants.
Ordinance No. SP-2611 prohibits parking attendants without authorization from the city government or the barangay from collecting parking fees, and Ordinance No. SP-2612 bans barkers at illegal bus, jeepney, taxi and tricycle terminals.
“We want to enforce the law. That’s why I am organizing the creation of an association [for them] and its registration with SEC so their group could secure an accreditation with the city’s Community Relations Office and they could avail of our livelihood program,” the District 2 lawmaker stressed.
“Our Department of Public Order and Safety could train them to become traffic aides and crime watchdogs,” he said.
Ludovica said he has discussed the matter with District 4 Councilor Hero Bautista.
“We will turn them over to Hero since the area is within his legislative jurisdiction,” he said.
The District 4 councilor, the brother of Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista and a confessed former drug user “could set a good example that it is not yet too late for them to change.”
“This is one of our ways to show the city’s support to them,” Ludovica said.
In August 2016, Bautista admitted he was hooked on drugs, and voluntarily took a leave from the city council to undergo rehabilitation.
Ludovica vowed that his office, along with the Social Welfare and Development Department, will continue and intensify its clearing and rescue operations of street dwellers, as “some of them are into drugs, too.”