HPG, San Juan execs in standoff over clearing of mabuhay lane
Non Alquitran (The Philippine Star) - November 5, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Teams from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) figured in a standoff yesterday with San Juan officials who prevented them from clearing Annapolis street of obstructions.

Senior Superintendent Ariel Arcinas, San Juan police chief, claimed the MMDA-HPG operation went smoothly early yesterday but nearly spiraled out of control after he left the area at about 10 a.m.

“There were no hitches during the early part of the clearing operation along Annapolis street. We even had a picture-taking with officials of government agencies concerned because the operation was very smooth,” he said.

Arcinas said the teams were towing vehicles parked on both sides of Annapolis street – one of 21 alternate routes, called mabuhay lanes, meant to ease traffic congestion along EDSA during the Christmas season.

However, a team from the city hall arrived and intervened, arguing that there is a local ordinance allowing vehicles, including motorcycles, to be parked on both sides of the street as long as their drivers pay the P30 parking fee.

Arcinas said the MMDA-HPG team explained that Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras said the local government units (LGUs) where the mabuhay Lanes are located have given their go-signal for the project.

The teams said the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has issued a memorandum for LGUs to support the project.

A heated debate ensued between the city hall officials and the HPG-MMDA team.

San Juan public information officer Grace Pardines and the DILG’s city officer said they have not yet received the memorandum. Both said the city government will abide by the clearing operation once their respective offices receive the DILG order.

The HPG-MMDA team continued to tow vehicles whose drivers had not paid the parking fee but left behind the vehicles whose owners showed receipts to prove they had paid the fee. – With Mike Frialde

 

ACIRC ARCINAS CABINET SECRETARY RENE ALMENDRAS DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT GRACE PARDINES HIGHWAY PATROL GROUP HPG METROPOLITAN MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY SAN JUAN SENIOR SUPERINTENDENT ARIEL ARCINAS WITH MIKE FRIALDE
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