Estrada allows city’s vendors to sell in selected Divisoria areas

The Daily Tribune| Written by: Tribune Wires| October 04, 2016

Former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada has allowed vendors, who are bona fide residents of Manila, to operate in certain side streets of Divisoria in his sense of compassion for the city’s poor vendors who need to make a living and to balance the right of the motorists and commuters to traffic-free roads.

Estrada, who is known to have a soft heart for the poor, said he made this “win-win” solution because he pities the hundreds of vendors who have been displaced by the city government’s strict road clearing operations.

“Our poor vendors are being hurt by our continuous clearing operations and as their leader and the father of the city, it is my duty to look after them,” Estrada said.

“On the other hand, I have to think of the welfare of the thousands of motorists and commuters who are also losing valuable time and opportunities by being stuck in tremendous traffic,” he pointed out.

Estrada has tasked Dennis Alcoreza, head of the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB), to help in the reorganization of thousands of vendors in Divisoria.

According to Alcoreza, an initial batch of 610 sidewalk vendors would be “returned” to Divisoria’s side streets: Tabora, Carmen Planas, Juan Luna, Sto. Cristo, and Ilaya, to name a few.

“Initially, they would be allowed to operate along the sidewalks provided they do not obstruct traffic flow,” Alcoreza said.

As instructed by Estrada, the MTPB chief said all the 610 vendors have been screened to ensure that all of them are bona fide residents of Manila. They were then required to register with the Bureau of Permits and secure the necessary hawkers’ permit.

“We found out that out of the 10 illegal vendors who have driven away during our past operations, seven were non-Manila residents. Many came from Pangasinan, Cavite, and as far as Mindanao. Naging Mecca na talaga nila ang Divisoria,” Alcoreza said.

Illegal vendors who have no permits and are “outsiders” would still be banned in any part of Divisoria Market, he emphasized.

“At least nakikita na namin kung sinu-sino ang karapat-dapat na mabigyan ng livelihood ni mayor. Lahat sila cinensus namin,” Alcoreza added.

As legitimate vendors, Alcoreza pointed out that the 610 vendors, as legitimate Manileños, are also now entitled to the social services of the city government.