MANILA, Philippines – The clearing operations are still underway along Roxas Boulevard and other major thoroughfares in Manila as part of the preparations for the ASEAN Summit.
Since last week, Manila Police have been on alert, day in and day out.
Task Force Manila Clean-up Chief Che Borromeo said they still go back to areas that they have cleared ahead to ensure that they are free of street vendors and informal settlers.
“Mayroon kasi tayong mga lehitimong street vendors. Pinapayagan naman natin sila basta tama lang iyong lugar nila. Panatilihin nilang malinis at inaayos naman natin sila kung saan sila pupwede at hindi pwede . . . iyong iba hindi talaga pupwede lalo na iyong Roxas Boulevard magkakaroon ng lock down. Hindi pwedeng . . . magtinda doon dahil talagang guwardyado,” Borromeo said.
(We have legitimate street vendors. We allow them to operate their business as long as it’s in a proper location. They should keep the area clean and we will place them accordingly, but there are areas that are really not allowed particularly along Roxas Boulevard, there’s going to be a lock-down. They are not allowed to sell there because it will be heavily guarded.)
The displaced street vendors, however, will be given alternative areas in the barangays where they can still sell.
One of the major plans of the Manila LGU is to maintain the order and cleanliness of rehabilitated areas.
The LGU wants to set an example in strictly implementing order in Manila that is why they plan to make this a continuing program even after the ASEAN Summit.
“Pagkatapos ng ASEAN dapat i- maintain natin iyong mga lugar na hindi dapat puntahan ng mga … homeless, iyong mga vendors katulad ng Roxas Boulevard. Kapag andoon sila unang- una peligro. Pangalawa hindi maganda sa tao dahil ito iyong Baywalk na tinatawag natin,” Borromeo said.
(After ASEAN, we should continue to keep the homeless and vendors away from certain areas such as Roxas Boulevard. Firstly, it’s dangerous for them to stay there. Secondly, it does not look good because this is the Baywalk.)
The Task Force Clean Manila appeals for public cooperation as Manila is considered to be the face representing the country.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Coastguard on Wednesday started to implement the no-sail zone along Manila Bay and no-fly zone in Metro and Mega Manila, particularly at Rizal Park, Sangley Point in Cavite, Plaridel Airport in Bulacan, and the Subic International Airport in Olongapo. – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue
BOC donates smuggled clothes and shoes to Ompong victims
MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has officially turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) the smuggled clothes, blankets and footwear that were confiscated by the agency from various ports in the country.
The items will be donated to victims of Typhoon Ompong which hammered Northern Luzon in September.
This is in accordance with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to help indigent members of the community and put smuggled products to good use.
Some of the clothes donated by BOC and DSWD are second-hand. Under the Republic Act 4653, the commercial importation of second-hand clothing is prohibited.
But according to the BOC, these are still eligible for donation through the deed of donation.
The items, however, have to go through disinfection first to prevent any health risks that may arise from such goods.
“This can also be subjected to fumigation process pa. Para mas makasiguro pa, we add another layer that this will really be safe for use ng kanyang intended recipient,” Port of Manila district collector, Atty.Erastus Sandino Austria said.
Among the items to be donated are 32 bales of second-hand clothes; 5 bales of brand new t-shirts; and 32 boxes of new shoes.
DSWD Secretary Virginia Orogo said, “Upon arrival of the donations it should go directly to the beneficiaries. It will not stay long in our warehouse it will not stay long in anybody’s place.”
This is the sixth time that the BOC has donated seized items to the DSWD.
Other than clothes and footwear, previous donations to calamity victims included rice and other food items. — Joan Nano
Duterte names Army Chief Lt. Gen. Rolando Bautista as next DSWD chief
Retiring Philippine Army Chief Lt. Gen. Rolando Bautista | Photo via Philippine Army website
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte will appoint another military official into his Cabinet in the person of Philippine Army Chief Lt. Gen. Rolando Bautista.
The President announced on Thursday (October 4) during a speech at a dinner with the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association (PMAAA), that he wants Bautista to head the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Bautista is set to retire from military service on October 15.
He served as Duterte’s Presidential Security Group Chief and was also the overall commander of the military operations in Marawi City during the Marawi siege.
Duterte hinted at appointing Bautista as a replacement for former National Food Authority (NFA) Administrator Jason Aquino but later changed his decision. – Rosalie Coz / Marje Pelayo
7-month restoration works in Old Sta. Mesa bridge begins
MANILA, Philippines – Restoration works on the Old Sta. Mesa Bridge which connects the cities of Manila and San Juan, began on Tuesday, September 18.
According to the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Old Sta. Mesa Bridge will be closed for seven months for rehabilitation as the structure is already in poor condition and in danger of collapsing.
The restoration works will also give way for the barges carrying the equipment to the construction site of the Skyway Connector Project.
Around 8,000 vehicles use the Old Sta. Mesa bridge daily. Motorists are expected to find an alternative route from Manila to San Juan and pedestrians will need to allot extra time to walk to their destination as vehicles will no longer be allowed on the bridge.
Meanwhile, the local government of Barangay Damka where the bridge is located, vowed to coordinate with the project’s contractor to request for at least a temporary footbridge for pedestrians especially for students to help them on their way to school.
“Ang sinabi ko nga po kung pwede kami magkaroon ng isang tulay o iyong parang military bridge na puwedeng magtulay sa tao sa kabilang side para mas madali. Kasi ngayon nga po kahit anong piliin naming daan going to San Juan, either through Mandaluyong o Magsaysay, ay talagang traffic,” said Barangay Chairman Paulito Linis.
The Old Sta. Mesa Bridge (also known as San Juan Bridge) is a witness to the 1896 Philippine Revolution against the Spaniards and the 1899 Philippine–American War. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Gerry Galicia)