ANGELES CITY -- Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan has ordered the removal of commercial stalls occupying sidewalks, which worsens the traffic problem in the city.
On Monday, market officials together with Bantay Bayan members and policemen from Station 1 implemented the final phase of the clearing operation.
Among the streets cleared by the city officials include the stretch of Sto. Rosario going to Plaridel, Miranda street, up to Rizal extension.
The authorities assisted the street vendors to remove their stalls to make an opening to the once so called "sidewalk for the public."
"We will give back the sidewalk to the people," Pamintuan said, adding "One of the main objectives of the clearing operation is to lessen the heavy traffic caused by pedestrians who use the main road as their sidewalk."
Legitimate stall owners have been complaining of unfair competition and loss of income since the vendors proliferate along sidewalks.
Pamintuan has authorized the operation of a night market along the stretch of Rizal Street so as not to totally displace the sidewalk vendors affected by the clearing operation.
The undertaking, he said, comes with a special permit from the City Council.
Pamintuan said the idea of a night market was considered to allow vendors proper vending areas but at the same time the orderliness and traffic efficiency in the city will be maintained.
It will also be a potential tourists spot as in the case of similar night markets in other countries, he added.
"We are not against the sidewalk vendors. We are just transferring them to the night market. There was an ordinance which calls for the establishment of a nighttime flea market where our street vendors can conduct their commerce," the mayor added.
For the past two weeks, the City Government has been coordinating with the sidewalk vendors on their transfer.
"As long as the vendors cooperate with the city, there will be no problem and we will do our best to meet their needs appropriately," said Engineer John Pineda, market administrator of the San Nicolas Public Market.
The night market opens from 6:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Vendors will be allowed to put up stalls or tents, which they will dismantle the following morning.
Market guards and police patrols will keep an eye on the area for the safety of the consumers and maintenance of peace and order.
Some 90 percent of the sidewalks at the city proper were already cleared as of Monday.
The cleared portion includes Nepo Mall road near the RCBC, front of Jenra Mall, Plaridel Street, Miranda Street, Rizal Street, Aguinaldo Street, Luna Street, and Jesus Street.