Manila streets cleared ahead of APEC summit

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Illegally parked vehicles and vendors blocking streets in Manila are the subject of an anti-obstruction drive of the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

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The move was part of intensified clearing operations along 17 designated Mabuhay Lanes, which include Taft Avenue, Welcome Rotunda, Carriedo Street, Ayala Bridge and Carlos Palanca Street (Echague Street), among others.

Several illegally parked tricycles and private vehicles were towed away, while some drivers were allowed to just leave with citation tickets issued by the MMDA.

Illegal vendors on the streets of Echague in Quiapo district, meanwhile, managed to organize themselves before the clearing team arrived.

There was a heated argument among village officials and responding personnel but tension eventually subsided when the MMDA showed copies of a memorandum issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) ordering local government officials to cooperate in the clearing.

The operations along Welcome Rotunda to Carriedo were halted when the vendors showed a renewed permit issued by Manila City Hall.

The PNP-HPG head, Chief Supt. Arnold Gunnacao, said about 57 vehicles had been the subject of their efforts, of which 11 were issued citation tickets in Monday’s operations in Baclaran in Parañaque City.

The vendors occupying the sidewalks and parts of the streets were also cleared, but some of them returned on Tuesday.

Ed Lara of Task Force Mabuhay said they are rushing to clear the Mabuhay Lanes by Friday, so that motorists will have an alternative route during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit next week.

Towed vehicles will be brought to the MMDA’s impounding area in Ultra, Pasig City.
The clearing personnel are also mandated to confiscate stalls of ambulant vendors and basketball court rings along the Mabuhay Lanes.

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