Thursday, October 12, 2017
ILOILO City – “Ukay-ukay” stalls at the public plaza of Mandurriao district were demolished yesterday, five days after those in Jaro Plaza were torn down.
According to Acting Mayor Jose Espinosa III, the kiosks, constructed along Q. Abeto Street across the Civil Service Commission regional office, were “causing hindrance to the pedestrians as well as motor vehicles passing…”
Demolition men of the Task Force on Anti-Squatting and Illegal Structures (TF Asis) started tearing down the ukay-ukay stalls around 2 p.m.
According to Espinosa, the ukay-ukay stalls’ operation also violated Republic Act 4653 (An Act to Safeguard the Health of the People and Maintain the Dignity of the Nation by Declaring it a National Policy to Prohibit the Commercial Importation of Textile Articles Commonly known as Used Clothing and Rags).
TF Asis was assisted by the Special Services Unit (SSU) and the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) in demolishing the ukay-ukay stalls
In Executive Order No. 94-2017, Espinosa also directed the SSU and CENRO to make sure no illegal or unauthorized structures or activities were built or carried out in public plazas and other places considered as properties of public dominion and/or for public uses.
Mandurriao district is gearing for its annual fiesta next month. Espinosa issued Executive Order No. 75-20017 authorizing the Association of Barangay Councils of Mandurriao to manage the district fiesta celebration and designated Barangay Captain Serio Causing as director general.
Causing asked permission from the city government to hold fiesta-related activities at the plaza from Oct 1 to Nov. 30.
On Tuesday, City Administrator Hernando Galvez admitted the city government did not have guidelines on the use of public plazas.
An “applicable ordinance” on the matter, Ordinance No. 40 approved in 1972 yet, was deemed “partly modified” by Ordinance No. 14 approved in 1990, said Galvez.
But Ordinance No. 14 was also deemed to have been modified by the Local Government Code enacted in 1991, he said.
So “there is now no concrete rule in view of that repeal by subsequent legislations…there are no existing guidelines,” said Galvez.
Friday last week, Espinosa ordered the demolition of ukay-ukay stalls at Jaro Plaza a day after discovering that these were illegally tapping electricity from the city government’s power lines.
He then announced a new policy – that public plazas were off-limits to ukay-ukay.
Councilor Joshua Alim recently warned against the closure of Jaro and Mandurriao district plazas for income-generating activities. He reminded fellow city councilors of the resolution they unanimously passed disallowing the closure of public plazas.
“Ang mga plaza himuon naman nila bulogasan. Plazas are beyond the commerce of man,” stressed Alim, citing the Local Government Code which prohibits the closure of public plazas except for some occasions but that the closure must not be more than three days./PN