By Claudeth Mocon-Ciriaco, August 6 2019; Business Mirror

Image Credit to Business Mirror

THE Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), along with the local government units of Caloocan and San Juan, continued clearing operations on Monday to sustain the campaign to unclog traffic flow by tearing down illegal structures and towing illegally parked vehicles.

In San Juan, MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim was joined by Mayor Francis Zamora and other local officials who conducted an inspection of the designated “No Parking Zone” in Barangay Greenhills.

Zamora has suspended all roadside pay parking and one-side parking in the city and barangays, including those in Mabuhay Lanes, in accordance with President Duterte’s order to clear all road networks from obstruction.

He also assured motorists and car owners there are enough parking spaces at the Greenhills Shopping Center and in 24-hour parking buildings within the city. He is also mulling over incentives to private land owners who will volunteer to make use of their land as parking spaces.

While conducting the inspection, one businessman identified as John de Castro, approached Lim and Zamora after he was given a citation ticket for illegal parking. De Castro argued that he just parked his vehicle on the designated parking area of the building where he is a tenant and has been paying for it every month.

He also claimed that he was not informed by the building administrator of the order from the mayor. He was referring to Zamora’s Executive Order FMZ-004, stating that vehicles will not be allowed to park on either side of the following streets from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.:

Club Filipino Avenue (part of Route 9 of the MMDA Mabuhay Lane); Annapolis Street (from corner of Eisenhower Street to corner of Missouri Street, which is part of Route 9 of the MMDA Mabuhay Lane); Missouri Street (corner of Annapolis Street to corner of Connecticut Street); and Connecticut Street (from the corner of Missouri Street to the corner of Ortigas Avenue, which comprises Route 10 of the MMDA Mabuhay Lane).

However, both Lim and Zamora said that sidewalks are public spaces and are for pedestrians to use.

Meanwhile in Caloocan City, Lim was joined by  Mayor Oscar “Oca” Malapitan and Vice Mayor Macario “Maca” Asistio. They checked Bagong Barrio and personally supervised the removal of obstructions on the sidewalks.

Malapitan stressed the importance of the barangays’ taking part in the clearing drive and expressed the need to act collectively.

During the operations, two barangay halls encroaching the sidewalks were dismantled and demolished while some owners of private establishments were warned to remove fixtures which are already on the streets.

Lim was thankful that more local government units are joining forces with the agency as the 60-day timeframe of the Department of Interior and Local Government ticks by.

He also acknowledged that longer-term solutions to the traffic problem are the infrastructure projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program of the administration, but noted that “clearing roads of obstructions is one way to solve the traffic while waiting for these permanent solutions.”

Lim is certain all roads can be cleared within the 60-day timeline of the DILG.

“We’ve seen all Metro mayors cooperating and working together. I believe that in two months’ time, we will see the outcome of all these clearing operations and make all roads obstruction-free,” he said.