Briones: Sidewalk obstruction

Publio J. Briones III

LET me get it straight.

Barangays are now responsible for seeing to it that roads and sidewalks remain obstruction-free after local government units nationwide started clearing these following the issuance of a Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) memorandum giving them 60 days, or until Sept. 29, 2019, to heed President Duterte’s order.

In the case of the sidewalk between Uytengsu and R.R. Landon Streets along Osmeña Blvd., it will be up to the tanods of Barangay Sambag 1 because I think that stretch is in its jurisdiction.

Why do I bring up that particular sidewalk?

Well, I pass it on the way to the office or the Cebu City Sports Center every day. So I’m familiar with the situation there.

The fruit vendor beside the gas station has been forced to move, while the mobile fried chicken joint that was very popular with pedestrians has since disappeared.

The former has found a home in one of the eateries down the street, setting up shop at the establishment’s entrance. I’m glad she is able to continue her business. For me, walking up Uytengsu is not the same without seeing her cheerless expression. Yeah, she’s not exactly a candidate for Miss Congeniality but she has become a mainstay in my daily routine.

Speaking of mainstay, vehicles continue to park on the sidewalk between Uytengsu and R.R. Landon Streets. The situation gets worse when you get closer to the post office across the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 headquarters.

Why? Let me put it this way. You are familiar with a maze, right? Then imagine one as you try to figure out how to get from the carenderia with a lotto outlet in front to the Interpol office, which is less than 100 meters away, with vehicles parked in between.

I don’t know. Is that whole stretch exempt from the DILG memorandum? Because many of the violators are patrol cars.

Okay, given that some of the vehicles come from as far as Guihulngan in Negros Oriental, maybe their drivers don’t know where to park when they come to the city. After all, aside from the town police stations in Cebu Province, and there are more than 40 of them, there are many more stations across Central Visayas that are under the jurisdiction of the PRO 7.

When the PRO 7 calls for a meeting, they all have to show up. The problem is, the PRO 7 headquarters cannot accommodate all those vehicles so they end up parking by the roadside. Or on the sidewalk across the street.

Speaking of which, I have to commend the head of the Abellana Police Station.

I and a resident of Sambag 1, a certain Niko Morallo, have repeatedly called the station’s attention to the vehicles and motorcycles that park in front of it, endangering the lives of pedestrians, many of them students from City Central and the Abellana National High School, who were sometimes forced to step on the busy road because their path was blocked.

Well, guess what? The station has addressed the problem. Finally. You know what they say, better late than never. So a “thank you” is in order.

So where was I? Oh yes, Sambag 1 and its tanods will now be responsible for making sure that vendors and vehicles do not block that particular sidewalk.

Hmm. Good luck to them!