Año: Metro Manila mayors should sustain road clearing operations
MANILA, Philippines — Although road clearing operations in Metro Manila are going smoothly, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año conceded on Tuesday that “more needs to be done” with the deadline for the mayors drawing closer.
With less than a month to go before the Sept. 29 deadline, Año told a press conference that he was satisfied with the Metro Manila mayors’ compliance with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to clear all roads of obstructions.
“We are pleased with the support, cooperation and compliance of Metro mayors with the presidential directive but we need to do more and we expect them to sustain their efforts in order to help clear the streets of Metro Manila of traffic,” Año said.
Most common obstruction
The DILG chief pointed out that 139,959 meters of road and 52,831 m of sidewalk in the National Capital Region have been cleared of obstructions since he issued on July 29 a memorandum circular setting the 60-day road-clearing deadline for all local government units nationwide.
He noted that the most common obstruction cleared in Metro Manila include illegally-parked vehicles, sidewalk vendors, street dwellers and barangay outposts.
Año said that compliance nationwide of road-clearing operations was at 43.3 percent.
Based on DILG records, Metro Manila is the most compliant region, followed by Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, the Central Visayas, Calabarzon and the Western Visayas.
Some 700 LGUs are conducting road-clearing operations, 397 enacted or revisited their ordinance relating to road clearing and banning of illegal construction.
There were 931 LGUs reported to have completed an inventory of roads within their jurisdiction, 668 have put displacement strategies in place for those affected by the clearing operations, and 609 have rehabilitation efforts for recovered public roads.
Apart from physically clearing obstruction from major thoroughfares, LGUs were tasked by the DILG to enact or revisit ordinances related to road-clearing and banning of illegal construction; prepare an inventory of roads within their jurisdiction; develop and implement displacement strategies; and cause the rehabilitation of recovered public roads.
100 percent cleared
In Caloocan City, Mayor Oscar Malapitan said that 100 percent of the city’s major thoroughfares and Mabuhay Lanes have been cleared of illegal structures.
Malapitan told Inquirer that he has formed Task Force “Alis Sagabal” to meet the road clearing deadline imposed by the DILG.
As of Tuesday morning, secondary and barangay roads were 90 percent cleared of illegal obstructions. In North Caloocan, which has a big land area, public roads have been reclaimed 100 percent, he added.
Village halls of Barangay 103 and 104 in South Caloocan were demolished on Tuesday for encroaching on sidewalks of 9th Avenue. —WITH A REPORT FROM NIKKA G. VALENZUELA
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