By Erma Edera
Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso has appealed to all business owners, particularly those operating in the area of Raon in Quiapo, Manila, to cease displaying their wares on the sidewalks and streets.
He noted that some business owners in Raon put out huge speakers and karaoke units out on the sidewalks and streets while selling them. “Help me understand. Bakit n’yo nilalabas paninda ninyo sa bangketa (Why do you put your goods out on the sidewalk?)? You want me to help you keep them inside your store?”
The mayor said store owners in the Raon area could not even sell their wares properly a few months ago because of the presence of vendors in front of their businesses obstructing the view of their stores. He initiated the removal of the illegal vendors, saying that because the store owners pay taxes, they deserve to be able to operate conveniently. He said it was difficult for him to clear the roads of vendors, but things have to be in order.
He then pointed out that if the vendors are not allowed to use the sidewalks and roads since these are beyond the commerce of men, the same policy applies to all, including business establishments.
“I can’t do everything, everyday, alone because obstruction, filth, peace and order, and corruption are just some of the problems. There is socio-economic, efficiency, heritage, and yours is just one of many. Through taxes, you pay me to govern. I want to govern, put things in proper order, but I cannot do it alone. I need everybody’s cooperation,” he said.
Moreno also said he had to fire 17 cops over the issue. “If a policeman cannot put order in his own area of responsibility, he has no business staying there.”