MANILA—Manila Mayor Isko Moreno on Tuesday cleared Dangwa of makeshift stalls to work on unclogging the drainage at the decades-old flower market and improve pavements in the area.
Vendors were instructed to remove their stalls for 2 days, but are permitted to return as soon as repairs are done, Moreno told ABS-CBN News.
"'Yung imburnal kailangan namin linisin, kailangan talaga. Hindi namin malinis dahil yung [temporary] structure nila nasa ibabaw," he said.
(We really have to clean the drainage. We could not do it because temporary structures are on top of the drainage.)
"Tapos aspalto bukas, tapos after noon, balik na sila sa pinagkaloob sa kanila ng lokal na pamahalaan," he said.
(We will have it asphalted tomorrow and after that, they can go back to the space the government provided for them.)
The plan to clean up Dangwa proceeded after city hall received word that the area is susceptible to flooding, Moreno said.
The temporary closure of the street market could lead to lower sales, said Marites, a 45-year-old flower vendor who has been selling plants there since the early 1990s.
"Wala kaming benta kasi nakatago 'yung tinda namin. Walang mamimili," she said, noting that they only earn about P1,500 a day in August, considered off-peak season.
(We can't sell anything because we have to keep our flowers inside. Nobody's going to buy.)
"Wala tayo magagawa dahil 'yan ang gusto ng mayor," she said.
(We can't do anything because that's what the mayor wants.)
Other florists were more optimistic about the 2-day closure.
"Mas maganda nga 'yun para malinis na 'yung tindahan namin dito at para malayo din kami sa sakit kasi kadalasan dito maraming mga lamok," said shopkeeper Jenilyn, while pointing toward the stagnant water pooled beneath a drainage.
(That's better so that our shops will be clean and so that we can prevent illnesses because there are a lot of mosquitos here.)
"Ayos na din 'yan, 2 araw lang naman [isasara]," she said.
(That's OK, since it's only going to be closed for 2 days.)