December 10, 2022

The ongoing clearing of obstructions in the city roads has raised more appeals from residents earning a living from areas that have been declared part of city and national roads and its rights of way (RROW).

This has led the city council to call for a discussion during its June 7 regular session with officials of concerned line agencies and city departments that implement the national directive on anti-road obstructions and its counterpart local issuance.

During the council session on May 31, a group composed of seven talipapa vendors from Country Club Village pleaded to the councilors to allow them to continue selling their products in the barangay, albeit in a portion of a national road they occupied since 2014 under a special permit.

On December 2020, they received a notice of obstruction for occupying the RROW, and the Permits and Licensing Division did not renew their permit.

The Baguio City District Engineering Office, upon a request to inspect the area, also said the vendors encroached upon the RROW, although at the moment are not causing obstruction.

Kagawad Nestor Almag said the barangay did not issue the vendors a clearance since they have to enforce the law.

Councilor Michael Lawana said the issue has become a citywide concern and should be addressed to come up with a long-term and uniform solution as the city is bent on enforcing road clearing operations in all barangays while livelihood of residents are affected.

Last year, sidewalk and vendors and newsstand owners at the central business district also appealed to the city government not to remove them from the sidewalks after they were ordered to vacate their current locations for being obstructions and to relocate inside establishments.

They were given until the end of this month to comply with the agreement made during a dialogue last year, among other conditions. – Hanna C. Lacsamana

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