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Towing ordinance draws mixed public reaction

NAGA CITY --- The city’s businessmen and traders are amenable to having a “walkable” central business district even as they requested that they should be represented in a joint technical committee that will monitor and study the effect of the expanded wheel-clamp ordinance that

also authorizes the towing of abandoned, stalled, and illegally parked vehicles in major streets of the city.

Meeting with the city’s businessmen on Saturday afternoon last weekend, City Mayor Nelson Legacion reiterated that the city government will always be open to feedback, suggestions, and new ideas in order to find the better way to best deliver public service.

The meeting was requested by groups of businessmen and traders led by Ferdinand ‘Don’ Sia, president of the Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, at the Blue Room at the city hall grounds here. It was also attended by Councilors Miles Raquid-Arroyo and Joe Perez, chairs of the Sanggunian committees on human settlements and housing and trade and investments, respectively.

Sia said upon consultation with his fellow businessmen, the business sector sees both the good and bad effects of the new towing ordinance. He stressed though that they are ready to give it a try in the best interest of the public and their active role as partner of the city government in the furtherance of socio-economic development.

He said it would help more if the sidewalks in the centro are re-developed to make them friendly to shoppers and the general public and that there should be strict enforcement of loading and unloading points.

By making the centro “walkable” or pedestrian-friendly, there must be constructed sheds or covered sidewalks so that there will be less need for cars or trimobiles within the old centro, he added.

Mayor Legacion disclosed that as early as October this year, he has created a special body, which included Councilor Perez as one of the members, for the redevelopment of the whole old business district and an initial output was presented to him last November that suggested more access to pedestrians, safer loading/unloading points, more greenery, as well as a serious effort to preserve the remaining colonial buildings.

As to the suggestion of providing mass transport that included air-conditioned vans or mini-buses to ply the centro, the mayor said he would ask his special project group to take note of and make a study on the suggestion.

Restaurant operator Marvin Penas suggested that the concrete base of the Oragon monument at Plaza Caceres be chipped off of its side, especially that side fronting Atlantic Bakery to give more road space as it was before.

Meanwhile, the towing and expanded wheel clamp ordinance which was made effective last January 6 gathered mixed reactions from the businessmen and the general public while the city faces the problem of congested roadways and choking traffic.

Not a few wanted the ordinance junked now even if it is only barely on its second week of implementation while others are glad to notice the gradual thinning of vehicle traffic in some critical areas of the city’s business districts.

With the towing ordinance, the first to be put into motion by a provincial city in South Luzon, the Public Safety Office, is reminding the public of the following streets in the old business district (centro) declared as parking areas:

1. Elias Angeles St. (from the corner of South Star Drug towards Naga Optical Clinic); 2. Elias Angeles St. (from the frontage of Aristocrat Hotel to Unitop); 3. J. Hernandez St. (from corner 7-Eleven near UNC towards Zamora St.); 4. Panganiban Drive (from 7-Eleven towards Mercury Drug); 5. Peñafrancia Avenue (from the interior side of Mini Stop towards San Francisco Galleria); 6. P. Burgos St (from South Star Drug infront of Crown Hotel); 7. P. Burgos St (from Jollibee towards 99.9 Boutique); 8. P. Burgos St. (from MultiBrand Distributor to 7-Eleven); 9. Ojeda IV St (from corner Elias Angeles St. to Dinaga St.); 10. Prieto St. (from South Star Drug to LCC Express Mart); 11. Abella St (from McDonald to Mercury Drug); 12. Plaza Quezon Quadrangle; 13. General Luna St (from PNB towards corner of P. Burgos St.); 14. General Luna St. (from LCC Express Marct to Dunkin’ Donuts); 15. J. Hernandez Avenue (from Bichara Mall towards Mercury Drug); 16. Caceres St. (from Generics Pharmacy towards Benito Commercial); 17. Elias Angeles St. (from corner P. Diaz St. towards Ramaida Centrum); 18. Peñafrancia Avenue (infront of E-Mall); 19. P. Burgos St. (from 99.9 Boutique to Geewan); 20. Elias Angeles St. (infront of Robinsons Bank); and 21. Elias Angeles St. (infront of Bolofers).

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