MMDA starts clearing ops in Balintawak

MANILA-- The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Thursday started clearing streets in Balintawak, Quezon City of vendors and illegally parked vehicles as part of efforts to improve the traffic condition in Metro Manila.

In an interview with reporters, MMDA head of clearing operations Francis Martinez said that the agency focused the clearing operations in the vicinity of the Balintawak public market.

He said vendors were cooperative during the operations as they voluntarily removed their stalls that were blocking the streets leading to the market.

There are no reports of any untoward incidents in the clearing operations. The stall owners are very cooperative and some of them are not really allowed to sell their goods on the side streets so they removed their stalls, Martinez said.

He warned that MMDA personnel would confiscate vendors' goods and remove their stalls if they insist on conducting their transactions starting tomorrow.

The agency has also issued traffic violation tickets to six motorcycles , three taxis and three pedicabs for illegal parking.

Furthermore,it will divert delivery trucks to Old Samson Road and Kaingan Road in order to decongest EDSA.

Roads around the market are occupied by parked vehicles � jeepneys in terminals waiting for passengers, vehicles of market-goers, delivery trucks unloading goods.

Illegal vendors with their carts and structures share the road with passing motorists.

Balintawak, one of the traffic choke points along Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (Edsa), is known to be a wholesale market for agricultural and livestock products coming from Central Luzon and Northern Luzon.

Earlier, the MMDA focused clearing operations in other heavily congested areas in Metro Manila following its successful clearing of illegally parked vehicles and structures in Baclaran.

MMDA General Manager and Officer in Charge Thomas Orbos said they were now targeting Balintawak, Cubao, Quiapo, Alabang, Monumento and Divisoria, which are known traffic choke points in the metropolis.

Source: Philippines News Agency