MANILA - The Department of the Interior and Local Government is deploying more police officers in some cities in Metro Manila to help clear streets of illegal vendors and improperly parked vehicles, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Tuesday.
The interior department, in a memorandum circular issued Monday, ordered local governments nationwide to reclaim streets being used for private ends, a directive first raised last week by President Rodrigo Duterte during his annual report to the nation.
"Kung may areas na malalaki tulad ng Quezon City ay mas dadagdagan natin ito ng tao, lalo na iyung ating NCRPO... para sigurado na walang maiiwan," Año told radio DZMM.
(If there are big areas like Quezon City, we will deploy addition personnel, especially from the National Capital Region Police Office to ensure that none will be left behind.)
Aside from Quezon City, other areas facing "many challenges" are Pasay and Caloocan, he said.
Barangay captains will be in charge of the maintenance of streets after clearing operations, added Año.
"Pinakamalaking factor d'yan iyung maintenance at sustenance. Minsan kasi, 'pag naggawa na ang trabaho, akala mo, tapos na iyun. Hindi mo alam bumabalik iyun e," said the official.
(The biggest factor there are the maintenance and sustenance. Sometimes, once the job is done, you'd think it ends there, not knowing that the illegal structures would just return.)
"Iyan ang nangyari before. Maiki-clear ng MMDA, itu-turnover sa barangay pero after 2 days, 3 days, babalik at wala namang sinabing accountability. This time, we'll make it sure na tuloy-tuloy na ito... Kapag pasaway ang barangay captain, edi patawan natin ng parusa," he added.
(That's what happened before. The MMDA would clear the streets, turn them over to the barangay, after 2, 3 days, it would be the same again and no one is assigned accountability, This time, we'll make sure that it will be continuous. If there is a hardheaded barangay captain, we'll mete out penalties.)
A tourism official earlier praised Manila Mayor Isko Moreno for cleaning up the streets of Manila. DoT Assistant Secretary Roberto P. Alabado said the cleanup of Manila is expected to boost the city’s status as a “shopping paradise” for Southeast Asian visitors.
“When tourists come here, immediately upon landing, they come to certain sites here in Manila. They go to Intramuros, they go to Luneta, Rizal Park, Binondo. Some even, especially Asians, go to Divisoria. These are areas where it’s simply a shopping paradise for some of our SEA (Southeast Asian) tourists,” said in an economic briefing.
He added: "So just imagine if our tourists can walk around the streets of Manila and at the same time enjoy the food in Binondo, enjoy the shopping in Divisoria, in a more organized manner."