As the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) continues its efforts of clearing Mabuhay / Christmas Lanes in anticipation of the Christmas rush, it encountered a different kind of roadblock in the city of San Juan.

Yesterday, city officials from San Juan asked MMDA personnel conducting clearing operations to refrain from towing away vehicles parked along Club Filipino Avenue and Annapolis Street, citing an ordinance designating the streets as ‘pay parking zones.’

“If we allow it to proceed, we will be subject to a suit,” said a representative from the city’s public information office, Grace Pardines.

The ordinance stipulates that the aforementioned streets, along with Wilson (from Don Miguel to P. Guevarra), Ortega, E. Rodriguez, Abad Santos St. (from Wilson to M. Reyes), Missouri and Connecticut streets, are parking zones with fees set at PhP20 for the first three hours and PhP10 for every succeeding hour.

Pardines added that only Congress can displace a local ordinance.

There was a stalemate of about three hours before Task Force Mabuhay chief Nestor Mendoza, who was in charge of the MMDA road-clearing team, was asked to withdraw and release vehicles tagged for impounding.

“Streets are not parking lots unless there is a municipal ordinance that this is now a parking lot, that’s a different story,” said Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras.

Source: Manila Bulletin,