A Tale of Two Cities – Manila and Quezon City

Two newly elected mayors in the Philippines are off to different directions and starts. Manila Mayor Isko Moreno is displaying a good start by cleaning up the major thoroughfares of Manila. Street obstruction or blockage had been the bane of the city and vehicular traffic was stalled due to the proliferation of “sidewalk” vendors. In the previous city administrations, street hawkers took over the historic streets themselves allegedly with the permission of city higher ups in exchange for millions of pesos in bribes on a daily basis.

On the other hand, in Quezon City, newbie Mayor Joy of the Belmonte family DYNASTY is pursuing her campaign promise of ridding the city government of non-permanent employees appointed by her predecessor Bistek Bautista. Strictly speaking both come from the same political party of the Belmonte patriarch but there is much bad blood among the two. Just a few days into the Joy Belmonte mayoralty stint, THOUSANDS of casuals have been given notice that their contracts would not be renewed. The IRONY here is that the Bistek-Joy feud had nothing to do with the recent election that elevated Joy to the position of mayor. Bistek had served three consecutive terms as Quezon City mayor and the Philippine Constitution has set a term limit of three terms for local executives, provincial officers and members of the Congressional Lower House (both district representatives and partylist congressmen). In other words, the Quezon City employees now being DISCHARGED, in all probability, voted for Joy to be their mayor since her opponent came a different political party.

ANALYSIS: Isko Moreno obviously pissed a huge number of his constituents who made a living through selling their wares on the streets. On the other hand, the vendors themselves knew that what they were doing was ILLEGAL. That was the very reason they coughed out grease money for the officials to look the other way. In Quezon City, removing the non-permanent city employees en masse could have a huge BACKLASH in the 2022 elections as said contractuals would profess that they were removed from their employment on the basis of their supposed connections to the previous Bistek regime and not on the basis of their competence, work record and performance on the job.

LOOK: Two crucial Manila

streets now vendor-free

BY Christian Imperio, The Philippine Star

JULY 3, 2019

Two of the most crowded streets in Manila have been purged of vendors following a series of cleanup operations on Tuesday.

On his second day of office, Mayor Isko Moreno ordered a series of clearing operations in a bid to decongest some of Manila’s streets that had become traffic chokepoints over the past couple of years.

A den of vendors who notoriously set their stalls on the street has been cleared from the stretch of CM Recto Avenue in Divisoria while a similar activity was also conducted along Carriedo Street in Sta. Cruz on the same day.

Some portions of the street along Carriedo were later marked with blue lines to specify the allotted space for vendors.

Meanwhile, two persons were caught collecting payoffs from vendors in Blumentritt market were arrested on Tuesday.

The suspects were apprehended after a police officer posed as a vendor handed them the marked money.

The suspects exposed the extent of the alleged corrupt activities in the public markets of Manila.

Maj. Rosalino Ibay of the Special Mayor’s Reaction Team said that the suspects would collect P20 to P30 three times a day from legitimate vendors and were given “collection tickets” not sanctioned by the city government, The STAR reported.

One of the suspects said that million of pesos were being collected weekly from Blumentritt market alone.

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