BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan ordered the city engineer’s office to conduct the needed clearing operations in order to free the city’s sidewalks from blatant obstructions for the free use of the public.
Domogan issued the directive after numerous complaints reached his office relative to the obvious disappearance of the sidewalks, especially those along the city’s central business district area and heavily populated barangays, considering that such spaces are now occupied by various business establishments.
“Our sidewalks are dedicated for the use of our people and not for a few enterprising individuals to take advantage by expanding their business to deprive our local residents and visitors of convenient walking spaces, especially along the central business district area and the different barangays,” Domogan stressed.
Earlier, councilor Fred Bagbagen raised concern over the blatant disappearance of the city’s sidewalks because enterprising businessmen have appropriated most portions of the city’s public places for their own use depriving the public of the use of such structures for their convenient walking around the city.
The local chief executive advised personnel of the city engineer’s office to talk to the businessmen to remove the obstructions that they have built over the sidewalks but if they refuse to do so, facilitate the immediate demolition of such illegal structures to free the sidewalks from obstructions.
According to councillor Bagbagen, the appropriation of the sidewalks for the private use of businessmen would mean virtually depriving the public of their safety and convenience in walking around the city’s central business district and even in the different barangays.
Domogan cited some local businessmen have taken advantage of the leniency of the local government as they have slowly expanded their operations up to the time that they were already obstructing the smooth flow of human traffic along the city’s main roads posing a serious threat to the safety of the public as they are forced to pass through the roads simultaneous with that of speeding vehicles.
He called on concerned businessmen to voluntarily remove the expansion of their businesses along the sidewalks the soonest and not for them to wait for the city’s demolition team to remove the obstructions that they have built as the materials will surely be confiscated instead of being turned over to them.
The city mayor underscored the importance of businessmen cooperating with the city’s existing no obstruction policy along sidewalks because of the city’s limited spaces for public use and not for them to be the first ones to appropriate such limited sidewalks for their own advantage in the pursuit of their business.
He said the refusal of the erring businessmen to remove their illegal structures on sidewalks would mean their blatant defiance of lawful orders that might force the local government to instil appropriate actions against them in order to comply with the provisions of the law providing convenience for the greater majority of the populace.
Domogan asserted it is clear that sidewalks are beyond the commerce of men that is why local businessmen must strictly adhere to such policy. By Dexter A. See