DILG to LGUs: Validation of road clearing operations starts Feb. 16
MANILA, Philippines — The validation of road clearing operations by local government units will run from Feb. 16 to March 2, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said on Monday in a statement reminding the LGUs of the end of the deadline extension.
The original deadline for the second wave of road clearing operations, a directive of President Rodrigo Duterte, was set for Jan. 15 but was extended to Feb. 15 to give LGUs more time to prepare for the arrival and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
“We would want to see the success of road clearing operations in the whole country, but we also don’t to delay the rollout of the vaccines. So our mayors will have to do well,” Undersecretary Bernardo Florece, DILG officer-in-charge said in Filipino.
According to Florece, the DILG and Task Force Road Clearing would adopt a strategy that would call for local officials to sign an agreement that would make barangay chiefs responsible for maintaining the cleared roads.
“There will also be an exit conference with the mayor so that he is advised of the results of the validation,” Florece explained.
Aside from DILG, the task force includes representatives from the Department of Transportation, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Department of Public Works and Highways, Metro Manila Council, and the Philippine National Police.
The DILG statement added that March 9 would be the deadline for all DILG regional offices to submit all their compliance data and the required forms.
“The Department, through the BLGS, will ensure that all LGUs adhere to the principles of road clearing, even beyond the validation period making it a whole-year-round program. Personnel from the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), as well as representatives from civil society organizations (CSOs), will be part of the local Validation Teams (VTs),” the DILG added.
In his fourth State of the Nation Address last July 2019, Duterte ordered Interior Secretary Eduardo Año to suspend local officials who would not implement clearing operations aimed at easing the heavy traffic plaguing Metro Manila and other provinces.
The traffic congestion in Metro Manila alone was said to cost around P3.5 billion worth of lost income per day.
After Duterte’s statement, Año gave LGUs a 60-day deadline to clear public roads.
However, the second round of road clearing operations, which started last February 2020, were affected by growing concern over the COVID-19 pandemic, which ultimately led to strict lockdown measures.
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