Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada today said he would continue cleaning up the capital city and slowly reverse its decades-long urban decay.
Estrada said he will launch another sanitation drive all over the city as part of his urban renewal after clearing the major thoroughfares of illegal vendors and all forms of obstructions.
“It is time that we also conduct a cleanliness campaign in every barangay, in every street, all over the city. We are a capital city, we should never be dirty,” the mayor pointed out after ordering a second clearing operation in Binondo early Thursday.
While recognizing that cleaning up Manila, a city of two million people, is a gargantuan task, Estrada said determination and political will are the key factors in achieving this goal.
He recounted that his father, Emilio Ejercito Sr., used to be a sanitation engineer at the Manila City Hall. “During his time Manila was clean. Cleanliness was one of his legacies and I will follow that.”
This morning, at least 200 vendors on Juan Luna and Sta. Elena streets in Binondo were driven away by Task Force Manila Cleanup.
The area was first raided by the city hall road clearing crew on August 3 when a shabu den was accidentally discovered under the Muello De Binondo Bridge. It caused the relief of the chief of the nearby Police Community Precinct (PCP) 7.
“We’ve cleared this area before but we’ve noticed some illegal vendors have returned so the Mayor ordered us to operate here again,” Task Force Manila Cleanup head Che Borromeo said.
The city government has cleared Divisoria, Blumentritt Road, the Sta. Cruz-Rizal Avenue area and Quiapo streets to decongest them and bring back what Estrada described as Manila’s “beauty and old glory.”
More than 3,000 illegal vendors have so far been driven away from the sidewalks and major thoroughfares since the sustained road clearing campaign began this June.