Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has prohibited vegetable cargo trucks from traversing Recto Avenue leading to Divisoria Market in a move to decongest traffic along Recto Avenue, particularly the portion leading to and from Divisoria Market.
Estrada said vegetable dealers may use the side streets around Divisoria where they can park their vehicles and unload their merchandise.
Estrada noted that truckers block traffic along that 500-meter stretch of Recto Avenue.
“We’ve been lenient to them for such a long time. Now that we are putting order back in our streets, we should be stricter. Mga Manilenyo naman ang pagbigyan nila,” Estrada pointed out after meeting with the vegetable dealers on Friday.
Citing health risks, Estrada also prohibited the vegetable dealers from selling in the streets.
“Bring them to the market, not on the road where you disrupt traffic flow. Also, your vegetables are at risk of being contaminated with dirt and pass it on to your customers. You have to consider your customers’ health, not only your profit margin,” Estrada told the dealers.
“I am the one being insulted by people. I am appealing to the vendors to return Divisoria to the people. When I came to office in 2013, I allowed night market but everyone got angry at me and I nearly lost. In my desire to help you, I nearly lost [in the elections],” Estrada said.
Estrada personally led successive road clearing operations in Divisoria, removing at least 2,000 illegal vendors and numerous structures that have been restricting the flow of traffic in the area.
Road clearing operations have also been conducted in Binondo, Blumentritt, Quiapo, and Sta, Cruz-Rizal Avenue in the past weeks as part of the city government’s efforts to remove what Estrada described as “anarchy in the streets.”
Dennis Alcoreza, head of the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB), said about 20 to 30 vegetable trucks from Benguet, Baguio, and other provinces unload their cargoes along the subject portion of Recto Avenue every night, disrupting traffic flow.
Every day, the vegetable dealers leave behind 16 truckloads of garbage in the street, according to Che Borromeo, head of Task Force Manila Cleanup.
“It’s a Wild, Wild, West there. They don’t even care because since they thought it would always be the government who will clean up their mess,” he said.
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