The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on August 27, 2019, announced that 90 percent of national roads and ‘Mabuhay Lanes’ are now cleared while 60 percent of inner roads in Metro Manila are also free of obstructions.
MMDA General Manager Jose Arturo Garcia gave the announcement after meeting with Metro Manila mayors to discuss the local government units (LGUs) compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to reclaim public roads,
Garcia said Marikina City reported that all of its national and inner roads are now cleared of obstructions while Pasay City has fully reclaimed all its major thoroughfares but only 25 percent of its inner roads.
Like Pasay, the cities of Caloocan, Muntinlupa, Malabon, and Mandaluyong have also fully cleared their national roads while cities of Manila, Las Pinas and Pateros have 90 percent complied with the national road clearing operations.
Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto said road-clearing operations in his jurisdiction were on track to meet the 60-day deadline set by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on July 29.
Sotto, however, said a major challenge after their completion of clearing operations is its sustainability.
“Consistency ho, sustainability po ang habol natin. Talagang binabalik-balikan ng clearing team natin at ng barangay at ating kapulisan tumutulong din po (We need consistency and sustainability. Our clearing team has to go back and check with the help of our barangays and police force),” Sotto said.
For his part, San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora cited full support he got from the people and his fellow local government officials.
Zamora added they have started an inventory of both public and private lands that could be used as parking lots.
Navotas City Mayor Toby Tiangco said all cities that reported their accomplishments in clearing operations were convinced they could comply with the deadline.
Tiangco, however, admitted that removing daycare centers, barangay halls, and police stations is a major challenge to reclaim public roads and places.
Tiangco said a police precinct which partly blocked a market road was spared from the clearing operation as it is needed to secure the area.
Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez said the Baclaran area has already been cleared though keeping the place clean also remains a challenge.
Olivarez said even big cities like Quezon City were meeting the September 27 deadline.
Olivarez noted that major thoroughfares in Metro Manila like EDSA are now experiencing a smoother flow of traffic due to Duterte’s directive.
In his fourth State of the Nation Address on July 22, Duterte has directed all local government officials to reclaim all public roads. (Raymond Carl Dela Cruz, PNA)