Manila officials cleared a portion of Juan Luna Street in Divisoria anew on Thursday and removed at least 250 illegal vendors and dozens of illegally parked vehicles and other obstructions.
Mayor Joseph Estrada ordered another raid on the stretch of Juan Luna between Sta. Elena and Padre Rada streets, after illegal vendors again occupied a huge portion of the busy street.
The raid also drove out illegal vendors on Recto Bridge near the Dragon 8 Shopping Center.
“Illegal vendors really have to be moved to the side streets where they would not hamper traffic,” Estrada said.
“We constantly explain to the vendors and those who illegally park their vehicles that the more they clog the streets the less business and livelihood will come to them. Clearing roads will make Manila attractive again as a commercial hub and more people will shop here,” he pointed out.
During previous operations in Divisoria, illegal vendors were only asked to move aside to at least keep the vehicular and pedestrian traffic flowing.
But since the illegal vendors kept returning to the road, Estrada this morning ordered Task Force Manila Cleanup headed by Che Borromeo to see to it that Juan Luna Street is “vendor-free 24/7.”
“We will zero-in,” Borromeo quipped, “even if we have to put up people to man and guard this street the whole day.”
The vendors who were asked to leave Juan Luna Street have been operating without permits for three years, according to him. He warned repeat offenders would be arrested.
Some 200 men from the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB), the Department of Public Services, the Manila Police District, the Office of the City Engineer, and the Manila Tricycle Regulatory Office carried out the road clearing operation.
MTPB personnel towed away illegally parked vehicles, tricycles, motorized pedicabs and motorcycles.
During the road clearing operation in Rizal Avenue on September 15, the MTPB impounded 30 tricycles, five motorcycles, 15 light vehicles and two motorized pedicabs.
MTPB chief Dennis Alcoreza said parked cars and makeshift stalls cause clog Manila’s roads.
Since June, Estrada has evicted more than 3,500 illegal vendors and removed countless obstructions and illegal structures.
Estrada led clearing operations in Divisoria, Blumentritt, Quiapo, Binondo, Sta. Cruz, R-10 and Pedro Gil and major roads leading to and from the Port of Manila. He has also cleaned up the University Belt weeks before the June 13 opening of classes.
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