Estrada restores order on what he calls Tondo’s ‘street of lawlessness’

The Daily Tribune| Written by: Pat C. Santos| October 07, 2016

The entire stretch of Herbosa Street in Tondo, Manila, which Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada has described as a “street of lawlessness,” is now cleared of all forms of obstruction — from illegally parked vehicles to vendors’ stalls and structures — that have occupied its entire sidewalk.

Last Tuesday, Estrada deployed Task Force Manila Cleanup in the once two-lane secondary road to “liberate” it from the undisciplined residents who he said seemed to have appropriated the street as their own private property.

“Herbosa Street has become virtually unpassable to vehicles because of so many obstructions. ‘Street of lawlessness’ talaga. Inari na ng mga residente ‘to, ginawang parking-an, tindahan, tambakan ng gamit, lahat,” Estrada said.

Dennis Alcoreza, head of the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB), said dozens of illegally parked vehicles, including wrecks left on the street, and countless number of structures had been removed during the massive clearing operation.

Hundreds of members of Task Force Manila Cleanup swept the entire stretch of Herbosa from Pritil Market to R-10, sparing nothing that blocks the flow of vehicular traffic.

“For years, Herbosa is virtually unpassable to vehicles. Even passenger jeepneys that used to pass here avoid it. Two lanes ‘to na malaki na hindi nadadaanan, ngayon nadadaanan na nang maayos,” Alcoreza said.

Herbosa, he said, serves as a “bypass road” for commuters and motorists coming from Juan Luna Street going to the pier.

Alcoreza said this is the first time the heavily populated street was cleared “in so many years.”

Since June, Estrada has intensified the city government’s road and sidewalk clearing operations, driving away more than 3,500 illegal vendors and removing countless number of obstructions and illegal structures.
The Manila mayor said time has come to clear up the precious road spaces that have been occupied by illegal vendors to relieve traffic congestion in Manila’s thoroughfares.

Estrada personally led clearing operations in Divisoria, Blumentritt, Quiapo, Binondo, Sta. Cruz, R-10 and Pedro Gil, among other places, and major roads leading to and from the Port of Manila. He also cleaned up the University Belt weeks before the June 13 opening of classes.