By Dhel Nazario
Residents from Capulong Street were taken by surprise after joint forces of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB) came to their streets to remove obstructions on Wednesday in Tondo, Manila.
The MMDA together with the MTPB removed obstructions, including a makeshift pool, on the stretch of Capulong Street in Tondo which practically occupied one lane of the thoroughfare.
The makeshift pool made up of tarpaulin which was set up for a birthday party was immediately ordered removed by MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia.
“Setting up this pool is dangerous as children who will go on swimming might be hit by passing vehicles,” said Garcia.
Clearing operations group and anti-illegal parking members arrive and start grabbing obstructions and eyesores including assorted metals, tires, wood, broken appliances and furniture, debris, canopies, carts, tarpaulins, bicycles, tables and chairs of sari-sari stores.
With their relentless operation, Garcia said they hope to promote discipline while keeping sidewalks and major thoroughfares free from obstruction or encroachment.
“The problem on illegal parking and illegal vending has been existing for decades already. We lack discipline. We continue doing our old ways, old habits and that is what we want to break,” said Garcia.
Garci noted that the MMDA is not against vendors who are trying to make a living but reitarated that “things should be in order.”
MTPB chief Dennis Alcoreza, for his part, said Manila City Mayor Joseph Estrada directed them to work together with MMDA in clearing the city.
Alcoreza also vowed to regularly deploy teams in the area to maintain the orderliness that MMDA has started.
“The City of Manila and MMDA cannot sustain the clearing operation alone but combining our forces, we can make a difference,” said Alcoreza.