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Politika sa Bangketa (Red Sidewalk) Simula ng Pagbabago
Anarchy In the sidewalk of Marikina flourished through years of neglect and indifference. There was a call for change with the coming in of a new local chief executive. The battle cry was the need for discipline. "A man may be king in his domain, but once he sets foot on the sidewalk he has to bear in mind that he is bound by the rules of society and has to live by them.” Appropriate ordinances which prohibited the use of sidewalks for other purposes were passed. Initially, the city disseminated to AII households a pamphlet on "Disiplina sa bangkenta” (Discipline in the Sidewalk ) outlining the rules and regulation to guide people's behavior in the sidewalk. The city paved around twelve kilometers of its sidewalks with red-colored demarcation lines to impress upon the public the value of conforming to the rules and more of society to achieve physical and social order. It's operation was guided by the dictum of checking the smallest infringement in the law with the objective of eventful cases in reducing petty and bigger crimes on account of the citizen’s obedience to simple rules and regulations.
The city government succeeded in liberating 85 percent of its sidewalk from any form of encroachment or obstructions. Trees were planted along the sidewalk and in other parts of the city in support of its program called "Puno Kahit Saan” (Trees Everywhere) to convert the whole city into a nursery of trees. Everyone was encouraged to plant trees everywhere with guarantee from the city government to remove and transfer the trees anytime for free. The city acquired a tree-mover for balling-out and transferring trees. Around 85,000 trees had been planted. Tree planting is consistently being pursued to attain its goal of having 1,000 to 1,500 trees planted per capita. Added to these accomplishments was the implementation of another program called '"Towards a Hassle Free Roadways" which strictly enforced the traffic and parking ordinances through self-policing policy. To support the program, a five-hectare parking area was built; street and traffic signs were upgraded; new access roads were opened to decongest main thoroughfares, among others. As a result, Marikina has some of the safest and most convenient sidewalks and roads in Metro Manila today.
This program is recognized as one of the Ten Outstanding Programs in the 1997 Galing Pook Awards.
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