Five clubs on Angeles City’s Fields Avenue have been shut down for operating without business permits amid a crackdown by the city’s new mayor.
Sky Trax Super Club, Phillies Sports Grill, Flaming Bar, Kurula and Roadhouse were ordered to close as part of ongoing “clearing operations” led by Angeles City Mayor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin Jr.
Previously, street vendors and hawkers operating in and around the red light district, also known as Walking Street, have been targeted.
Also falling foul of the tough new approach have been floral displays outside the Wild Orchid and Penthouse hotels. The plant holders were described as “illegal structures” and said to be obstructing the sidewalk.
“We need to bring the sidewalks back to the people,” Mayor Lazatin said.
Fields Avenue operations
The mayor’s clearing operation was supported by agents from a baffling array of acronyms and initialisations, including the BPLD, CENRO, EMS, CSWDO, GAD, ACEDTIPO and, of course, the PNP.
The stated aim of the operations is to “clear Fields Avenue of illegal vendors, vagrants, prostitutes and minors”.
Although prostitution is illegal in the Philippines, the trade is conducted openly in most of the bars and clubs in and around Walking Street, and elsewhere.
The clearing operations have also focused on kitchen hygiene. Among the premises falling foul of inspectors was the Wild Orchid Hotel. They reported finding “unsanitary conditions like cleaning chemicals among plates, dirty and slippery kitchen floor”.
Similar crackdowns on sidewalk obstructions are expected across the country, with a 60-day deadline for mayors to act issued today (Monday, July 29).
Department of the Interior and Local Governemnt Secretary Eduardo Año announced countdown during a press briefing in Quezon City.
“All local officials are enjoined to exercise their powers essential to reclaim public roads which are being used for private ends and in the process, rid them of illegal structures and construction,” he said.
“Within 60 calendar days, significant results must be achieved, documented and reported.”