Senator Sonny Angara called on the local chief executives of Metro Manila to look after the welfare of their constituents who will be affected by the ongoing clearing of roads in their respective areas of jurisdiction.

Angara said that while he fully supports the clearing operations in order to help ease traffic in Metro Manila, the displacement of sidewalk vendors and removal of structures such as barangay halls are consequences of the process that should not be ignored.

“We understand that all obstructions on the roads and sidewalks should be cleared. All of the efforts to address traffic congestion in major urban areas such as Metro Manila will not succeed unless the primary, arterial and secondary roads are clear of obstructions,” the veteran legislator said.

“Illegal or not, their needs are just as important as anyone else’s.”

“However, many of those who will be affected are from the informal sector, meaning they have no social protection to fall back on at all. Illegal or not, their needs are just as important as anyone else’s,” the seasoned lawmaker added.

For the displaced vendors, the senator suggested that local government units provide permanent facilities for them to legally sell their wares.

“Kailangan mababa lang ang singil sa mga pwesto na ito. Ang importante ay hindi sila mawalan ng hanapbuhay. Ilang libong pamilya din ang pinaguusapan natin dito,” he said.

 “It is the responsibility of the LGUs concerned to find suitable areas for them to use.”

In the case of the barangay halls, police precincts and other public structures that are being removed for encroaching on the sidewalks and roads, Angara said that it is the responsibility of the LGUs concerned to find suitable areas for them to use.

“Hindi naman kasi dapat na may mga opisina na nakatayo sa mga sidewalk at kalsada. Trabaho nila ang magbigay ng seguridad at iba pang serbisyo sa mga tao pero kung sila din mismo ang nagiging sagabal na sa nakararami, then there’s something wrong with this picture,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte, in his fourth State of the Nation Address, ordered Metro Manila LGUs and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority to “reclaim all public roads that are being used for private ends” in order to ensure the smooth flow of traffic in Metro Manila.

Responding to the directive of the President, the Department of Interior and Local Government, gave Metro Manila mayors up to the end of September this year to clear public roads of all obstructions.

The local chief executives were also ordered to revoke all permits issued to private entities for the occupation of public roads, alleys and other thoroughfares.


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