CEBU

Village chiefs tasked to ensure roads remain obstruction-free

IT’S now up to barangay captains to make sure roads remain obstruction-free.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) made the announcement on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, a day before it would release the list of local government units (LGUs) that complied with President Rodrigo Duterte’s road-clearing directive.

While most LGUs did comply, the challenge is to keep public roads and sidewalks free of illegally parked vehicles and vendors, respectively, “24/7,” said DILG Undersecretary Martin Diño.

He said police station commanders will help barangay captains monitor public roads.

“Walang kwenta ‘to if hindi ma-maintain (What’s the point of the clearing operation if you can’t maintain it)... There’s a need to sustain it, no illegal parking and sidewalk vendors and that responsibility all lies on the barangay captain and station commander,” he said.

Diño said mayors are authorized to suspend barangay captains who fail to comply with the directive, while the President and the Office of the Ombudsman will suspend mayors who fail to rein in their barangay captains.

“The barangay captain will get penalized and if the mayor will show no support (for sustaining the road clearing), he will also be included,” he said.

The 60-day deadline given to local chief executives by the DILG ended on Sept. 29, 2019 and Diño is now urging the public to take pictures of public roads with obstructions after the deadline.

“There are people who are complaining after the 60-day deadline. So now that the 60 days are done, take a picture. Point out the areas where there are illegal sidewalk vendors and illegal parking,” he said.

The public can send the picture to the DILG Cebu City or any office of the DILG.

The DILG will then give the concerned official a show-cause order or 72 hours or five days to explain.

While only a few LGUs failed to comply with the order, based on the initial result of their validation inspection last Oct. 4, DILG 7 Director Leocadio Trovela is confident that Central Visayas has complied with the President’s directive.

Trovela said they already submitted their report to the central office.

Last Oct. 4, the validation team composed of representatives of the DILG, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Bureau of Fire and Protection, civil society organizations and nongovernment organizations inspected main and city roads in Cebu City.

The team was headed by DILG Lapu-Lapu officer-in-charge Jonah Pino.

During his State of the Nation Address last July 22, Duterte directed all local chief executives to clear all public roads of any form of obstruction.

Days after, the DILG issued a memorandum giving LGUs 60 days or until Sept. 29 to reclaim all public roads from obstructions, such as illegal vending, illegal parking, illegal structures and constructions.

In Mandaue, the City Government said it would buy two FB-type vehicles to support the Mandaue City Legal Enforcement Unit (MCLEU) in its clearing operations.

The MCLEU issued a memo to the city’s 27 barangays to start clearing barangay roads after it cleared national and city roads.

City Administrator Jamaal Calipayan said they recommended to the bids and awards committee to procure proper vehicles for the enforcement team when they conduct their inspection.

“That’s how serious we are that we’re buying them vehicles so they’ll be comfortable during inspections,” he said in Cebuano.

He said it’s usually hot when the enforcement team is deployed between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. in APV pickups.

Aside from documenting obstructions and enforcing clearing operations, the team also endorses cleared roads to the barangays. If the obstructions return, the barangays will then be held responsible.

Meanwhile, the MCLEU continues to make sure national and city roads remain free of obstructions.

“We are actually vigilant for the obstructions to not come back because we don’t know (when the) DILG might deploy an undeclared team to see if we are consistent,” Calipayan said.

He said they still await the result of the DILG’s final validation. JJL, KFD


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