DPWH starts to rid highways of parked vehicles-A A +A
Friday, September 20, 2013
THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has started to clear major roads in Cebu of structures and parked vehicles.
DPWH 7 Director Ador Canlas said his office collaborated with the Land Transportation Office (LTO), which has authority over vehicles; the PNP to maintain peace and order during the operation; and the concerned local government units (LGUs).
Canlas some businesses and residents are using the road as extension of their establishments and permanent parking areas.
LTO 7 Director Raul Aguilos said his office deputized some DPWH 7 personnel so they would be able to apprehend drivers and vehicle owners who park on major roads for extended periods.
“The clearing of structures that encroach on the roads is part of the mandate of DPWH. Apprehending vehicles which are illegally parked on highways is the mandate of LTO. So, we deputized DPWH personnel to legalize their action,” Aguilos said.
Canlas said DPWH launched the operation in Minglanilla “to deliver the message to violators in other areas that using the roads for business and other purposes for personal gain is illegal.”
“It is sad to note that while we (at DPWH) widened the roads, the expanded areas are occupied by private individuals,” he added.
In Minglanilla, however, a DPWH 7 personnel got punched in the face when he told the owner of a jeep-type vehicle about the policy to keep highways and major roads free of obstruction.
Virgilio Lazarte, who is assigned at the DPWH Second Engineering District office, said he was calm when he spoke to the vehicle owner but the latter still hit him. A brief scuffle occurred so Lazarte called the police.
Canlas said those who plan to build buildings along major roads must remember the minimum setback and incorporate parking spaces in the design of their structures so they will not use the road for the purpose.
DPWH Second Engineering District Chief Daisy Toledo the LTO deputized 28 public works personnel to oversee the clearing operations.
Erring vehicle owners will be fined for the first and second offense. If they commit the same offense for the third time, their license will be revoked.
Toledo advised mayors not to allow businessmen to renew their permits if their stores encroach on sidewalks and roads, or if they cannot provide a proper parking space.
DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson has directed regional and district offices to make sure that all national highways are free of barriers or structures to facilitate traffic and ensure safety of motorists.
After Minglanila, DPWH 7 will focus on V. Rama Ave. in Cebu City where radiator repair shops, vulcanizing shops and car wash service shops use the road for their businesses.
“LGU support in clearing roads is vital. That is why DPWH is holding coordination meetings with local officials on this matter,” Canlas said.
Lawyer Raphael Yap, executive director of the City Traffic Operations and Management (Citom), said Citom’s campaign against overnight parking on roads will continue.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 20, 2013.