Mayor Belmonte: City streets now cleared of obstructions
MANILA, Philippines – All of Quezon City’s streets are now cleared of obstructions, Mayor Joy Belmonte said in a statement Friday.
Belmonte said the city is now 100 percent compliant to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) order, as its Task Force 60 Days has completed its job.
“Quezon City is 100 percent done in its clearing operations. For the past weeks, the QC local government through its Task Force 60 Days has been persistent in its efforts to comply with the rules of the DILG in this operations,” she said.
Last July 29, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año declared a 60-day deadline for local executives to clear streets of obstructions, pursuant to President Rodrigo Duterte’s orders issued in his last State of the Nation Address.
Mayors who fail to heed the DILG’s order may face sanctions, like a two-month preventive suspension while investigation is still underway.
Belmonte is one of the mayors who objected to previous plans for a shorter, 45-day deadline, due to the immense size of Quezon City. Last August 16, she said 80 barangays have been cleared of road obstructions.
The first-term mayor also claimed that roads not included in DILG’s list of roads were also cleared of obstructions.
“Actually, we went over and beyond what was required by also clearing streets that are not on the list. A total of 152 roads and streets were cleared from obstructions and illegal structures including national roads and Mabuhay Lanes traversing the city such as Quezon Avenue, Commonwealth Avenue, Quirino Avenue and Katipunan Avenue, among others,” Belmonte explained.
“Many side streets and secondary roads were also cleared during the process,” she added.
Lawyer Ariel Inton, head of the city’s Task Force for Transport and Traffic Management said that several people have notified them of streets still with obstructions, but these are supposedly not part of what DILG asked to be cleaned up.
“Netizens have been asking and sending us photos of sidewalks and streets with obstructions. We want to inform them that while these are not part of the priority list, we will still operate on these areas moving forward,” Inton said.
“This is part of our mitigating efforts to improve the traffic flow and congestion in our city,” he added.
Quezon City’s drive to clean streets has been met with certain issues, like Belmonte’s certain deviations from the plans of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) projects, specifically on the latter’s proposals to rid streets of illegal vendors and prevent provincial buses from entering Quezon City.
Belmonte clarified though that she is willing to work with other agencies and President Rodrigo Duterte himself in clearing the roads.
Then just recently, Inton found himself involved in another controversy after he purposely smashed the window of a car parked along Timog Avenue. Inton said this was only to avoid wrecking the car’s transmission as it was supposed to be towed, but he later admitted in a DZMM interview that he probably ‘overdid’ it. /muf
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