The streets of the City of Manila may yet see its old glory restored after Mayor Joseph Estrada stood firm on his policy of disallowing street vendors on main roads of the city.
After removing over 100 illegal street vendors along MV delos Santos St. in Binondo, Task Force Manila Cleanup will continue to enforce road-clearing operations as part of the mayor’s urban renewal program.
A protest was staged early this week by a small group of vendors saying that the 'zero vending' policy will "kill" their livelihood.
"We cannot give in to their demands and compromise the safety and convenience of the thousands of pedestrians, motorists and commuters who brave traffic jams and chaos in the streets almost every day,” Estrada said.
Task Force Chief Che Borromeo chimed in on the effect the street vendors have on the daily traffic flow.
“Hindi sila sumusunod. Talagang nao-okupahan na nila halos ang malaking bahagi ng kalsada (The illegal vendors do not follow the mayor's directive and continue to occupy a huge portion of the street),” said Borromeo.
Borromeo also doubted the legitimacy of the group saying that he believes militant groups are riding on the issue and are pushing vendors and even vagrants along Roxas Boulevard to mount protests.
Vendors will still be allowed to operate on the side streets as long as their business does not block traffic flow, keep the area clean and secure the necessary paperwork from the Bureau of Permits at the City Hall.
The City of Manila has so far cleared Divisoria, Blumentritt Road, the Sta. Cruz-Rizal Ave. area, Binondo, and Quiapo. It has removed more than 3,000 illegal vendors and reduced traffic congestion along Manila’s main roads.