MMDA chief: We’ll burn goods seized from returning illegal vendors
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) warned street vendors planning to return to the Edsa-Balintawak area that their goods would be confiscated and burned.
MMDA Chair Danilo Lim personally issued the warning during a road clearing operation on Wednesday, where he appeared frustrated over the agency’s repeated efforts to rid the traffic choke point of vendors and illegally parked vehicles, including motorcycles and motorized pedicabs.
“If they come back, [their goods] will be burned,” Lim told his men and Ma. Teresa Montalbo, chair of Barangay Balingasa, Quezon City, who has jurisdiction over the area.
Lim’s threat echoed the course of action once pushed by then MMDA chair Bayani Fernando, who ordered that goods seized from illegal stalls be destroyed right in front of the merchants. Fernando then sought to dispel suspicions that MMDA personnel were keeping the goods for their personal benefit.
Montalbo explained to Lim that it had been difficult for her to maintain order and discipline in the area due to lack of manpower.
But Lim said it was not enough reason for her to be lax, noting that the MMDA itself is undermanned. To address this limitation, there should be proper coordination with the police and the city’s Department of Public Order and Safety, he stressed.
Lim made Montalbo sign a document which officially turned over to her the responsibility of keeping Balintawak in order.
The MMDA earlier filed administrative charges against seven barangay chairs for failure to keep their area free of illegally parked cars and other obstructions.
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