Manila allows re-operation of 'underground' bookstore in City Hall underpass

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 02 2019 09:04 PM | Updated as of Aug 04 2019 10:13 PM

The Lagusnilad tiangges, this bookshop included, was a project of former Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim. Krishna Ariola

MANILA - The city government of Manila will allow a bookstore in the City Hall underpass to operate after the local government finishes its cleaning operations in the area.

This comes after city folk showed dismay when the store was forced to shut down amid the government's pursuit to clean up the nitty-gritty areas of the capital city.

Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso said they will give time for the store to legitimize its business.

"Kasi 'yong mga netizen na nagsasabi satin na may matanggal na bilihan ng libro, and all these things, huwag kayong mag-alala," he said in his "The Capital Report" Facebook live broadcast.

"Pagkatapos namin linisin ang underpass, bibigyan namin ng pagkakataon yung nagtitinda ng murang libro doon na maging legitimate business," he added.

(After we've cleaned up the area, we will give them a space for them to have a legitimate business.)

The store has become refuge for some Manila college students looking to get books for less.

Moreno said he has also talked to the owner about the plan of the local government.

The clean-up drive is part of the newly-installed mayor's public campaign to tidy up the country's capital.

Critics took jab on Moreno's campaign, claiming the clean-up drive would come at the expense of the livelihoods of small-scale vendors.

However, Moreno had stressed that keeping vendors away from the streets would do their businesses better, claiming organizers have bribed their way into keeping vendors on the streets.