Pelayo: Playtime’s over, the cat is here to linger

TAKE advantage of the remaining cold nights brought by the northeast monsoon and walk around the city proper in Angeles. The weather may not be the same in Baguio where there’s serene fog and a cool mist whirling from one’s breath but there is a cool new scene that’s quite difficult not to notice. Angeles City has now become pretty much more pedestrian-friendly than it used to.

Mayor Ed Pamintuan has been seen by his constituents regularly driving his car along the streets to check the cleanliness and orderliness of the city. Whenever he noticed some dirt in front of an establishment, he made sure that the people nearby the trash get his message. Recently, the job of clearing the sidewalks of illegal structures became easier since the creation of the state-of-the-art command center.

Not many people know that the city mayor himself is constantly monitoring the status of the city through the eagle eye-like lenses of the analytic cameras and he would immediately command orders to implement the traffic regulations, city ordinances and other laws. With what was then appeared to be a regular cat-and-mouse chase between the inspectors of the local government and the illegal vendors including encroachers (when the authorities are out of sight after clearing operation, the violators come back), the sides of the main streets and avenues are now breathing again with free spaces for pedestrians to pass, and the city mayor intends to let it stay that way for good.

With EdPam’s approval, the Angeles City Traffic and Development’s head, Dan Miranda Concepcion has created a team that will persistently monitor the city’s busy thoroughfares including secondary roads clear of illegal structures and other obstructions on a daily basis. During last Monday’s flag ceremony at the city hall, Mr. DMC introduced his newly established group to the government employees and received a welcome applause by their colleagues.

And so, the question everyone might be thinking now is, “will this be the answer that the general public has been hoping for?” That a group of brave volunteers who will do nothing daily but to make sure that the sidewalks are free from illegal obstructions will meticulously do their duty in order for Angeles to have a road for automotive vehicles and for sidewalks for pedestrians only. With this new development, many Angeleños are rather optimistic that the phrase, “when the cat is away, the mice will play” might not be used again. This time, the cat decides to stay.
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