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Cebu mayor facing raps for failure to remove road obstructions

CEBU CITY – A town mayor in Cebu is facing charges for failure to comply with the directive of President Duterte to clear public roads of obstructions.

Mayor Dean Michael Singco of Ginatilan town was among 10 local chief executives in the country who failed in the standards of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

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In a Facebook live coverage last Friday, DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III said they filed complaints about grave misconduct and gross negligence against these LGUs before the Office of the Ombudsman.

Respondents were the 10 local chief executives of Guinsilban, Camiguin; Pili, Camarines; Sur; Ginatilan, Cebu; Sagay, Camiguin; Manticao, Misamis Oriental; Pagsanjan, Samar; Caraga, Davao Oriental; Aurora, Zamboanga Del Sur; Baco, Oriental Mindoro; and Lapuyan, Zamboanga del Sur.

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Of the 1,534 cities and municipalities, 101 failed during the assessment, 15 of which earned the lowest score.

“They got a score of less than 50 percent—way beyond the passing rate of 70. It is supposed to be their responsibility to maintain the cleanliness of the roads and sidewalks,” Densing said.

He said they would file cases against the remaining five LGUs that failed once the documentation is completed.

Although he did not specify the cities and municipalities, Densing said these were from Abra, Davao del Norte, Samar, Benguet, and Cebu.

The Inquirer tried but failed to reach Singco through the phone.

During his 2019 State of the Nation Address, President Duterte gave the mayors 60 days or until September 29 to “reclaim all public roads that are being used for private ends.”

The series of validation was scheduled from September 30 to October 4.

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Validation teams were created and composed of representatives from DILG, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Bureau of Fire Protection, civil society organization, and media.

“We documented everything. We noted that the streets and sidewalks in these areas were not cleared of obstructions. This is the reason why we sued them,” Densing said.

The DILG used a four-tier rating system in evaluating the compliance of the LGUs based on the percentage of primary and secondary roads that they have cleared.

•High compliance – 91 to 100% of roads cleared
•Medium compliance – 81 to 90% roads cleared
•Low compliance – 71 to 80% roads cleared
•Failed – 70% or lower percentage of roads cleared

The DILG Memorandum Circular-121-2019 said that to be fully compliant, the LGU should also enact or revisit ordinances related to road clearing and the banning of illegal construction, prepare an inventory of roads within their jurisdiction, develop and implement displacement strategies, and rehabilitate recovered public roads.

Densing said the road clearing program would not end with the filing of cases but is something the LGUs would do continuously.

“The time of having lazy mayors is gone. Clearing the roads and sidewalks is part of their responsibility. If they can’t do it, they better not run for any position in government. It’s that simple,” he said.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año earlier said that no LGU garnered a 100- percent compliance score. He considered the nationwide road clearing efforts successful, with 75 percent of the roads in the inventory cleared.

DILG-7 Director Leocadio Trovela said the Duterte administration envisions sustaining the road-clearing effort by conducting quarterly evaluations at the barangay level.

In Central Visayas, the compliance rate of all LGUs reached 91%./lzb

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TAGS: Cebu, Local news, mayor, Philippine news updates, Regions, road obstructions
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