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WATCH: Baclaran sidewalk vendors decry clearing ops


MANILA, Philippines— Sidewalk vendors in Baclaran were among the casualties of clearing operations that local governments have been given 60 days to complete.

On Tuesday, Pasay City Mayor Emi Calixto and Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez conducted clearing operations in Baclaran in line with President Rodrigo Duterte's directive to clear the roads in Metro Manila of all kinds of obstructions.

The clearing operations was overseen by Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Danny Lim and General Manager Jojo Garcia.

The move was, however, opposed by vendors who were made to leave.

One of the vendors lamented how the operations were done without notice and how they were not even given an hour to gather their wares and leave.

“Hindi niyo kami pinagbibigyan! Paano ‘yung pag-aaral ng mga anak namin? Nakakasama kayo ng loob kasi kayo may mga pera kayo na inaabangan, kami wala. Kung hindi kami magtitinda, wala,” the vendor said.

(You are not considering our situation. What will happen to our children’s education? This is painful... you have salaries to rely on, we don’t have that. If we won’t sell, we won’t earn)

“Pakinggan ninyo naman kami. Hindi kami basura, tao rin kami, nagha-hanapbuhay,” she added.

(Please hear us. We are not trash, we’re also humans, just trying to earn a living)

FROM THE ARCHIVES: MMDA suspends enforcers who beat up buko vendor in clearing ops

Despite the complaints, Lim said they would continue the clearing operations, which were prompted by Duterte’s pronouncement that he wants the mayors to reclaim all public roads.

"There would be no let-up in our operations as the [Department of the Interior and Local Government] gave us orders to reclaim the roads in 60 days. We will ensure that these will be done daily to fast-track clearing of all roads,” the MMDA chief said.

MMDA General Manager Garcia also stood by Duterte’s order, saying it is time to reclaim public roads.

“These roads were being used for profit for a long time and it’s about time we reclaim it for the common good. Sidewalks are for pedestrians while public roads are for motorists,” Garcia said.

Baclaran vendors are meanwhile calling on the government to designate an area where they can continue their livelihood legally.

“We want a sustainable solution to this that’s why we are having coordination with different vendor associations to help them search for a permanent selling place,” Olivarez assured them.

Calixto-Rubiano also said he has proposed an ordinance to create a night market. — with The STAR/Edd Gumban

RELATED: DILG reverts to 60-day deadline for LGUs to clear public roads






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