SOME ten men worked in concert to push a black sedan off Rizal Avenue in Manila to be towed.
They were most likely aware that they could earn the ire of the owner of the car, but they opted to risk it instead of sparking the wrath of Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.
About 15 other private vehicles, 30 tricycles, five motorcycles and two kuligligs parked from Carriedo Street to Abad Santos Avenue were impounded that day while the collector of parking fees was arrested.
The mayor’s order was clear: Rizal Avenue is not a parking zone.
“This is a major highway. It shouldn’t be used as parking lot of vehicles,” said Estrada in Filipino.
Dennis Alcoreza, chief of Manila’s Traffic and Parking Bureau, said it is unreasonable for vehicles to occupy one of the two lanes of a major thoroughfare.
Car owners who do not have parking spaces are now getting a lot of headaches not only in the capital city.
Recently, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has shifted its focus towards clearing all major and secondary roads from all forms of obstructions, including illegally-parked vehicles, in a bid to reduce traffic congestion.
The agency formed a special team, composed of 60 personnel from its various departments, including members of the Towing Operation and Anti-Illegal Parking groups, dedicated to anti-illegal parking operations.
“The general rule is no parking on the roads and on the sidewalks,” said MMDA-Traffic Discipline Office head Crisanto Saruca Jr. “We will get rid of illegally parked vehicles in all roads anywhere in Metro Manila.”
Barangay chiefs will be held liable if they fail keep the roads under ther jurisdiction clear of obstructions.
Should the MMDA find cleared areas filled with illegally parked vehicles again, its personnel have been directed to report negligent barangay officials to the Office of the Ombudsman.