Mayor Isko steadfast on clearing Manila streets, says more areas to follow

Bianca Dava, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 06 2019 05:04 PM | Updated as of Jul 06 2019 09:18 PM

People walk along the Divisoria district in Manila on July 04, 2019 after clearing operations ordered by new Manila mayor, Isko Moreno. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno on Saturday said the city government will sustain efforts organizing street vendors, who are often blamed for garbage and traffic congestion in the capital city.

The busy streets in Divisoria have now been cleared of sidewalk vendors, just days after Moreno took his oath of office.

This came after authorities dismantled the stalls in a clearing operation.

A clearing operation was also conducted in Recto.

“Can we sustain? Can we continue? That’s the new impossible job. Impossible na magagawang posible,” Moreno said at a forum at the Manila Yacht Club.

Moreno made it clear that it is the local government who should organize vendors, not the private sector.

The mayor also bared there was an attempt to bribe him to let up on his campaign to rid the city’s streets and sidewalks of illegal vendors. The bribes ranged from P5 million a day to P1.8 billion a year, he added.

“Tigilan niyo na ’yan . . . Hindi n’yo ako mauuto sa Divisoria. Hindi n’yo kilala kung sino mga kababata ko, kaibigan ko, kapitbahay ko nu’ng kinukuha ko noon ang basura nila.”

“It is non-negotiable,” Moreno said.

He added: “Ito deal ko sa inyo. Kapag nabalik sa dati ang Recto, Juan Luna, Soler at Blumentritt sa chaotic situation, the way you saw it last week . . . huwag na kayong mag-isip, nagkapera na ako.”

The cleanup did not only clear the roads but also eased traffic in the city, the mayor said.

He added he is already coordinating with the national government about possible relocation for the affected vendors.

“We are now looking for a place for them,” Moreno said.

Moreno said this is only the “tip of the iceberg” as he assured Manileños that the local government will be consistent in putting order and cleanliness in the streets of the city.

He said his administration will not stop cleaning up communities.

“Paco and Pedro Gil at iba pang lugar, ’yan ang mga isusunod natin,” the mayor said.