Task Force Sagarr appears to have its hands full in trying to correct whatever is wrong with Dumaguete. Just last week, they were rounding up ambulant vendors and trying to convince informal settlers (whatever happened to the term squatters?) along the Banica River to go back to wherever they came from.
As far as the drive against ambulant vendors goes, William Ablong, the ground commander of TF Sagarr, says the enforcers have to deal with a lot of crying vendors who say they are just poor people trying to earn a living by peddling on the streets. Regardless of their lot in life, these vendors are people too. And for that, they can be thankful that Ablong’s standing order to his enforcers is to treat each person with compassion and respect, even as the ambulant vendors who were rounded up last week mostly came from Bacong.
However, the enforcers also need to be firm. We have to have political will if we want to improve our City. And talking about politics, Dumaguete City leaders are primarily accountable to residents and voters of Dumaguete.
Perhaps, the Task Force could also implement a City Ordinance prohibiting the use of public roads and as terminals for multicabs and tricycles. These tricycles and multicabs all want to be near the public market, contributing to the congestion there. If the City has to allow tricycle or multicab terminals in a public road, it might want to use Burgos Street behind the City Central School. That’s probably the most underutilized city street.
It might also be high time for the City to charge for parking along public roads and earn more money for the City, instead of allowing watch-your-car boys and men (again, many of whom are not residents of Dumaguete) to rule these parking areas.
The wish list for Dumaguete can be longer. And hopefully, Task Force Sagarr would continue to be up to the task of making Dumaguete a livable city.