Department Of Tourism Envisions Divisoria Cleanup To Turn Manila Into Southeast Asian ‘Shopping Paradise’

Manila City’s recent crackdown on illegal vendors has been met with mixed reactions. While many are happy with the street cleanup, others worry about the livelihood of these vendors being affected. The Department of Tourism (DoT) spoke up last July 10, Wednesday to assure that these changes will be positive in the long run.

divisoria clean up

Photo from ABS-CBN

DoT Assistant Secretary Roberto P. Alabado declared during an economic briefing at Malacanang Palace that the crackdown initiative of Mayor Francisco Moreno Domagoso is expected to boost Manila’s status to a “shopping paradise” for Southeast Asian tourists. He explained:

When tourists come here, immediately upon landing, they come to certain sites here in Manila. They go to Intramuros, they go to Luneta, Rizal Park, Binondo. Some even, especially Asians, go to Divisoria. These are areas where it’s simply a shopping paradise for some of our SEA (Southeast Asian) tourists […]

So just imagine if our tourists can walk around the streets of Manila and at the same time enjoy the food in Binondo, enjoy the shopping in Divisoria, in a more organized manner.

(Isko Moreno Calls For Chinese Man Who Peed In Public And Assaulted A Barangay Official To Be Deported)

While they acknowledge the need to relocate the vendors instead of simply removing them, the DoT remains optimistic on having this venture create more economic opportunities. Alabado states:

This is a local thing, the relocation of our street vendors, but as we have always said, the more tourists that we can provide access to Divisoria, to Binondo and Intramuros, the more economic activities that can be spurred from those local destinations.

(Isko Moreno Wants to Help Manila Zoo)

The DoT hopes to capitalize on Manila already being a ‘premier tourist destination’ and taking it to a further extent. They have committed to working in coordination with Manila’s local offices in this regard.

How do you think the government should handle the street vendors relocation?