Parañaque gov't clears Baclaran of illegal vendors
Mike Frialde (The Philippine Star) - January 7, 2014 - 6:41pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Parañaque City government on Tuesday started clearing the streets of Baclaran of illegal vendors, particularly around the Baclaran Church (Mother of Perpetual Help Shrine) after a city ordinance granting them temporary permission to peddle lapsed on Monday.

Parañaque City Mayor Edwin L. Olivarez personally led city officials and personnel in clearing up the vendors’ stalls as he vowed to maintain the roads around Baclaran Church clean and free of illegal vendors.

Olivarez said the clearing was in response to the complaint of motorists, pedestrians and devotees who reported that illegal vendors have occupied virtually all the streets and sidewalks in along Redemptorist Road, Quirino Avenue and the Roxas Boulevard service road fronting the church.

“The clearing and maintenance of the roads around Baclaran Church will now be an ongoing operation of the city government,” Olivarez said.

"We will make sure that the streets here are always passable and accessible for the thousands of devotees and the general public who go to Baclaran every day," he added.

Olivarez added that the city government would be finding out a permanent solution to the problem of illegal vending in Baclaran.

Olivarez said he has already met with Barangay Baclaran chairman Dullio “Dondon” Cailles to find an alternative site for the vendors, particularly those who are Parañaque residents.

According to Olivarez, negotiations are already ongoing with the owners of a possible site for a flea market where the affected vendors could be relocated.

“We will find a long-term, viable solution to this problem, With the cooperation of the vendors themselves, our church officials, our barangay and police officials and other stakeholders, I am sure that we can reach on a win-win agreement," he said.

Aside from clearing illegal stalls and other makeshift structures, the mayor also ordered city officials to fix the street lights in Baclaran after being informed that the street lights have not been working for quite some time, including those along busy Redemptorist Road.

He likewise instructed city engineers to fix clogged drainage pipes that have been causing floods in Baclaran, as well as to apply asphalt overlays on side streets that were finally exposed in the open after the successful clearing operations.

Olivarez said the clearing operation was peaceful with the vendors themselves tearing down their illegal stalls.

Olivarez first attempted to clear Baclaran last August, but the vendors appealed that they be allowed to stay until the end of the Christmas holidays. The City Council subsequently passed an ordinance allowing a Christmas flea market in the area until January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany, which signals the end of the Yuletide season.

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