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SB Plaza in Novaliches, Quezon City / lakansining

Novaliches clears plaza of illegal vendors

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The people of Novaliches, Quezon City has reclaimed the old Novaliches public plaza from illegal vendors.

The Quezon City government heeded the request of the local residents to relocate the vendors elsewhere so that they can again use the Novaliches public plaza as a place for leisure and recreation.

A team of QC Hall officials and personnel removed over the weekend the remaining stalls of the vendors near the Bonifacio monument, the Novaliches public library and the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Station 4 on Quirino Highway in Barangay Novaliches Proper.

The owners of the demolished stalls failed to comply with the two-week deadline given to them earlier to leave the place voluntarily.

The City Hall clean-up group, called Team Nova, was given the task of clearing the Nova park, roads and other public places of vendors and other obstructions.

The group included personnel from the Mayor's Office, Market Development and Administration Department (MDAD), QC Department of Public Order and Safety (DPOS), Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department (EPWMD), QCPD Traffic Sector, Novaliches District Center (NDC), and QC District 5 barangay chairmen.

They were led by QC traffic czar, lawyer Ariel Inton, former 2nd District Councilor Rannie Ludovica, and retired QCPD Col. Procopio Lipana, MDAD officer-in-charge.

Earlier, the people of Novaliches deplored what they considered as the "great invasion" of their public plaza by vendors.

In December 2016, the people of Novaliches asked for a special gift during the Christmas and coming New Year from then Mayor Herbert M. Bautista.

They wanted the mayor to play "Santa Claus" for them by restoring the old Novaliches plaza and park in Barangay Novaliches Proper or Poblacion and saving it from the "great invasion" by vendors from nearby areas.

The residents said the presence of numerous vendors in the area also "desecrated" the local monument for the Katipunan founder Andres Bonifacio.

The vendors' occupation of almost all available space in the plaza also disrupted what should have been a smooth operation of the Quezon City Public Library branch in Novaliches.

The two entrances and the parking area for vehicles of people wishing to donate books and other reading and educational materials to the local library had been occupied by the vendors who were granted permits by the Novaliches District Center or Mini-City Hall to put up tents in the place.

Even the sidewalks along Quirino Highway, General Luis and Susano Streets have been occupied by vendors, making the passage of thousands of pedestrians an ordeal, especially during this Christmas season.

Barangay Novaliches Proper officials opposed the grant of permits to the vendors to operate in the area but their opposition “had fallen to deaf ears."

A retired government employee told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that they had previously brought the problem to the attention of the local barangay head but they were told to submit their complaint instead to the mayor's office.

Mayor Joy Belmonte replaced Bautista on June 30.

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