THE Municipal Government of Lubao has taken initial steps to clear road obstructions in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive during his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on July 22, 2019.
Mayor Esmeralda Pineda on Monday, August 5, cascaded Duterte's order to municipal and barangay officials -- reiterated by Memorandum Circular 2019-121 issued by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on July 29 -- to reclaim public roads of private use by individuals or entities.
A team led by Pineda and Vice Mayor Jay Montemayor, in coordination with the Philippine National Police and Bureau of Fire Protection, launched the operation in Barangay Sta. Cruz where the town’s public market and a majority of commercial establishments are located.
Sheds, counters, and signages erected on the road were dismantled and removed to open up the streets in a bid to ease up traffic flow.
The DILG memorandum encouraged local officials to exercise their powers to revoke permits that give private entities authority to use parts of any public road.
They are also mandated to formulate and implement strategies to help relocate those affected by the clearing.
Pineda also distributed copies of the DILG memorandum circular to the Liga ng mga Barangay to guide them in implementing the order in their respective villages.
Duterte, in his Sona, warned local officials of government sanctions should they fail to effect the clearing of roads, alleys and other thoroughfares, which have long been used by private individuals or businesses for their personal interests.
The order might have stemmed from the bold actions of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno in clearing streets of the Philippine capital, which have become areas for commerce rather than for transportation.
Pineda said in a statement that the local government unit believes that the President’s order is a good step toward attaining more orderly communities.
“The number of business and vehicles is consistently growing at breakneck speed and if we will not do anything today, there will come a time when traffic will no longer be manageable to the detriment of everyone,” she said.
Pineda asked barangay officials to cooperate with the LGU in implementing the President’s order and to find a way to keep the roads free from obstructions after the operations.
“We are not doing this because the President warned of possible administrative case for those who fail to implement the order, but because we believe that something must be done to make sure that our areas are prepared for whatever effects that progress will come with,” she said.