MMDA: Over 36,000 illegal vendors removed from streets in 2017
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has removed more than 36,000 illegal vendors from various city streets in the National Capital Region last year, its latest yearly report showed on Friday.
Specifically, the MMDA report said 36,621 illegal vendors were taken off the streets in 2017, up nearly 300% from the 9,215 illegal vendors it removed from the streets in 2016 through the agency’s Sidewalk Clearing Operations Group (SCOG).
In a phone interview, MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said the agency was not “totally” removing illegal vendors from their areas but only being asked to refrain from selling their goods in the middle of the roads.
“Hindi naman natin sila totally inaalis. Pinapakiusapan natin sila na ‘wag naman sa mismong gitna ng mga kalye,” Garcia told INQUIRER.net.
[We do not totally remove them. We ask them to not do their business right in the middle of the streets.]
“Kung maluwag pa naman doon sa area, pinapausog lang naman natin sila. Pero kung hindi na talaga kasya, nakikipag-coordinate tayo sa mga LGUs (local government units) para ma-relocate sila,” he added.
[If there is still space in the area, we only tell them to move to the side. But if there is really no more space, we coordinate with the LGUs so they could be relocated.]
The MMDA data further stated that it got rid of 13,594 illegal strucutures or obstructions in 2017, a sharp increase from the 2,015 illegal strucutres or obstructions it managed to remove in 2016.
Garcia said their actions against obstructions or illegal structures stemmed from reports apart from the operations personally led by no less than MMDA Chairman Danny Lim.
“Hindi naman kasi talaga tama na sobra ‘yung mga harang sa daan. Katulad diyan sa Mabuhay Lane, may mga sasakyan na hindi makadaan kasi grabe ‘yung mga nakaharang. So, kailangan talagang tanggalin,” he said.
[It is really not right that there are too much obstructions on the road. Just like in Mabuhay Lane, there were vehicles that could not pass through because there were too many obstructions. So, we really need to remove them.]
Meanwhile, the same MMDA report said that the agency has removed 965 informal settlers last year, higher than 2016’s figure of 395.
Garcia said that altough removing informal settlers in Metro Manila was not among their principal mandate, LGUs request for their assistance.
“Sila rin mismo ‘yung tumatawag sa office natin para magpatulong sa mga operation” against illegal settlers, he said.
[They are the ones calling our office to ask for help in the operations]
“Nakakatulong ‘yung magandang relationship ng mga LGUs sa MMDA para talagang matulungan sila na maalis ‘yung mga informal settlers sa lugar,” he also said.
[The good relationship of the LGUs with MMDA helps to really allow us to assist them in removing informal settlers in the area.] Faye Orellana, INQUIRER.net /kga
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