BAGUIO CITY – The local government will be allocating more or less P20 million from its annual budget next year to aggressively recover and put up as many sidewalks to make most part of the city conducive for walking as part of the efforts to encourage walking among residents and tourists.
Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong ordered the City Engineering Office (CEO) to already start working on the recovery of sidewalks in the different parts of the city to ensure that the said areas will be safe for walking considering that sidewalks are beyond the commerce of man.
During several inspections in the different parts of the city, the local chief executive was able to notice the encroachments done by enterprising businessmen on portions of the city’s sidewalks that impede the smooth flow of pedestrian traffic along the said roads.
Initially, he ordered concerned offices of the local government in coordination with the Department of Public works and Highways – Baguio City District Engineering Office (DPWH-BCDEO) to work out the dismantling of the illegal structures and encroachments that were done on national roads to pave the way for the immediate recovery or the sidewalks considering businessmen so that people can freely walk on the said sidewalks considering the city’s advocacy on walking as part of the lifestyle of presidents living in the different barangays.
He added that the recovery and putting up of sidewalks will not only be done in the central business district but also in the city’s barangays to make sure that people will have some area to walk when opting to walk in their places for them to enjoy the city’s natural air conditioning.
Among the establishments that have been previously identified to have encroached on barangay, city and national roads include machine shots, hardware stores, food stores, sari-sari stores, groceries, hotels and even gasoline stations.
Magalong solicited the utmost cooperation of the owners of the establishments that will be affected by the efforts of the local government to recover and put up sidewalks considering that the same is geared rewards upholding the general welfare of the public.
Earlier, President Rodrigo R. Duterte issued a directive to all local governments, especially in Metro Manila and other urban centers in the country, to recover all sidewalks which have been encroached by natural and juridical persons to help in providing adequate spaces where the public could move around, particularly in crowded places, and for the smooth flow of motor vehicles around wider spaces.
One of the major advocacies of the present administration is to empower residents and tourists to walk around the city to be able to witness the different scenic destinations and for them to practice health lifestyle considering the reported prevalence of lifestyle diseases that have already claimed the lives of innocent individuals from the different barangays.
City Engineer Edgar Victorio Olpindo disclosed that the initial wave to recover the major sidewalks in the different parts of the city was successful considering the least resistance showed by those who have encroached in some portions of the city’s roads that contribute in the worsening traffic congestions, especially in the central business district area.
By Dexter A. See