Sep 28, 2020

Tourism Mile a ‘ghost town’ with no parking policy

Councilor Matthew Mendoza, the chair of the committee on tourism at the City Council, said the 60-day obstruction clearing directive has made the Tourism Mile area a “ghost town” since the imposition of the “no parking policy” along the major road.

Photo courtesy of Councilor Matthew Mendoza through City Information Office

The Department of the Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) road clearing order has affected restaurants and other business establishments situated within the “Tourism Mile” district of the city along J. Rizal Avenue.

Councilor Matthew Mendoza, the chair of the committee on tourism at the City Council, said the 60-day obstruction clearing directive has made the Tourism Mile area a “ghost town” since the imposition of the “no parking policy” along the major road.

The tourism business district extends from the Provincial Capitol area to Canigaran in Barangay Bancao-Bancao.

“Ito pong tourism mile ay ang nasa tapat ng Capitol hanggang sa Canigaran ay nagsisimula nang maging ghost town ayon sa aking obserbasyon at sa mga nakakarating na impormasyon sa atin na sa halip ay bisitahin ay iniiwasan na ng mga turista at mga lokal na residente. Ang nakikitang rason ay ang pagbabawal na mag-park kaya imbis na kumain at pumunta sa iba pang establishment sa tourism mile ay pumupunta nalang sila sa mga mall kung saan doon pwede silang magpark,” he said.

Mendoza said he has received various complaints from business owners, as well as locals who have been fined for parking outside restaurants.

He said the issue had already been circulated in the social media with netizens getting angry at the no parking policy.

Mendoza said there was also a letter sent to him by some investors citing Puerto Princesa as a “no go zone” because of the road clearing operations, where customers have difficulty finding parking spaces.

Mendoza said they are hoping the directive will not get worse for the business owners.

“Bukod po dito ay marami na ring mga complaints na lumalabas sa social media ngunit isang investor at kababayan din natin ang tumawag ng aking atensyon at ang sabi, ‘Puerto Princesa City is essentially a no go zone unless you want to visit the big mall’. Napakapangit pakinggan pero talagang totoo. Ang national government ay naglabas ng kautusan through DILG na alisin lahat ng nakaharang sa mga lansangan. Tanong ko lang kung harang ba sa daan ang mga nag-pa-park lang para kumain? Kasi baka lang iba ang pagkakaintindi ng mga nagi-implement,” he said.

“Ganoon pa , isipin nalang natin na ang kautusan na ito ay hindi ginawa para unti-unting mawalan ng kabuhayan ang mamamayan lalo na’t tinitingnan natin na additional attraction ang Tourism Mile,” Mendoza added.

Mendoza is recommending to the City Council to formulate a legislative measure that will allow the parking of vehicles in business establishments within a specific period of time

He said that they should solve the problem while still following the directive of the national government.

“Para sa akin ay marapat lamang na bigyang solusyon ang bagay na ito – ang pagsunod sa direktiba ng national government at ang pagsuporta natin sa ating mga tourim stakeholders. Dapat magcome-up tayo ng win-win solution para ma-solve ang problema na ito. Matagal na ang complaint sa atin kaya nag-research tayo at nakita natin lalo na sa Makati na pinapayagan naman ang street parking, left and right pa nga at may mga bus na nagpa-park. Ang tanong ko bakit sa ibang LGU, puwede pero bakit sa atin hindi? Puwede naman tayo maglagay ng oras kung kailan puwede at hindi puwedeng mag-park at the same time na-co-comply natin ang directive,” he said.

Businesses also aired their appeal to the city government to address their parking space problem during the regular meeting of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday.

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