Mayor cracks down on illegal parking, clears roads

PAMPANGA. Sto. Tomas Mayor Gloria “Ninang” Ronquillo leads a clearing operation in Barangay Balangcas, in response to President Rodrigo Duterte's order to clear road networks of obstructions. (Photo by Ian Ocampo Flora)

TEAMS of municipal enforcers swooped down on a section of MacArthur Highway in Barangay Balangcas in Sto. Tomas town to clear it of illegally parked vehicles and remove road obstructions.

Mayor Gloria "Ninang" Ronquillo personally led the clearing teams composed of the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire, barangay and municipal officials.

Ronquillo said the clearing is part of her commitment to comply with the marching order of President Rodrigo Duterte to clear major road networks of obstructions.

The local government started its campaign in Barangay Balangcas, which is notorious for parked vehicles along the side of the highway. The area hosts a vibrant cottage industry producing locally assembled vehicles.

The teams cleared the area of garbage, illegally parked vehicles and structures that have spilled into the road's canal system.

"This area is the entrance to our town. The traffic has been a problem and there have been cases of accidents brought about by obstructions," Ronquillo added.

Ronquillo blamed the traffic problem on a number of factors, including obstruction of the streets, alleys, sidewalks, and parks for commercial purposes, causing inconvenience to motorists.

Memorandum Circular 2019-121 was 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.

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.

Ronquillo said she will be giving a grace period to those found in violation of obstructions to clear areas they have occupied.


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