While reading on my twitter timeline today, GMA News tweeted the Clear Sidewalks Act of 2011 which suddenly caught my interest. The Clear Sidewalks Act of 2011 is endorsed by Manny Villar to improve the traffic situation in the country. In my honest opinion, it will not only allow us to achieve a better traffic and road management but further will result to a tidier and more organize streets and can also further elevate the economy of the country.
Think of garbage free streets in the Philippines, a cleaner environment and of course, less accidents. Though I am aware that there are those who make a living in the street, I don’t think that the side road is the proper venue for that. My only wish is that before these street vendors will be forbidden, the government shall designate an area where they can position their stuff.
If you missed out what this Clear Sidewalks Act of 2011 all about, quoted below is the full transcript of the article published in GMANews website.
To allow traffic to flow smoothly and pedestrians to move more conveniently, Senator Manuel Villar has filed a bill seeking to prohibit the use of sidewalks and other public places for household chores like bathing and doing laundry.
In the senator’s proposed Clear Sidewalks Act of 2011 that he filed on September 15, Villar described the use of sidewalks and other public places for household chores as “both public nuisances and nuisances per se.”
In Villar’s bill, violators shall pay a fine of P1,000, spend time in jail for 30 days, or both.
“It is the policy of the State to promote the general welfare of the people. Pursuant to this policy, this act seeks to clear sidewalks from unauthorized commercial or personal use in order to facilitate the smooth passage of’ persons as well as to clear all obstructions to traffic and vehicular flow,” Villar’s bill says.
“Adequate sidewalk areas must also be maintained to allow safe pedestrian passage and for the safe and convenient use of wheelchairs, strollers and similar instruments,” adds the proposed law.
The bill also seeks to prohibit the following acts along sidewalks and in other public places:
a) Vending or selling of foods, magazines, newspapers, cigarettes,
brooms, watches, jewelry, shoes and other footwear, and other items
b) Providing shoe-shining services
c) Doing house chores such as washing and hanging clothes, and bathing
d) Using these places as vehicle garages or doing vehicle repair
e) Dumping garbage
f) Setting up of basketball courts
g) Installing animal pens or keeping animals in chains
h) Storing softdrinks, or wine or liquor bottles and cases, as well
as drinking liquor and holding picnics and other gatherings
i) Storing junk and other recyclables
j) Using sidewalks to store construction materials for sale
k) Using these for house extensions or stall and store extensions
l) Installing a permanent or picket fence
m) Using these places for plants, trees, and plant boxes
n) Installing signs or billboards on or above sidewalks and detached
from a business establishment
In more developed cities like Sakai in Japan, sidewalks are clear for public use, allowing the use of these venues by bikers and other pedestrians.
“Cities that are bike-able are less congested, less polluted, quieter, safer, and often more enjoyable to explore,” wrote GMA News web producer Pia Faustino in a first-person story in 2010. – VVP, GMA News
***Credits to GMANews for this article about the Clear Sidewalks Act of 2011.