President Rodrigo Duterte recently commended the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and concerned local government units (LGUs) for the successful implementation of the road clearing program throughout the country.
Road clearing is now a continuous program of the government and the DILG will conduct quarterly validation of the operations of all LGUs this December, according to DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya.
Malaya said the challenge now to LGUs is to sustain the gains they achieved all year-round and for those in the medium and low compliance category to improve on their performance.
“The President congratulated the DILG and all LGUs who actively participated in the road clearing operations and directed Secretary (Eduardo) Año to continue with the program until the end of his term,” Malaya said.
Malaya said while there was more to be done, “the President was very satisfied and he commended the DILG under Secretary Año and the LGUs with resounding applause from him and all Cabinet members during the Cabinet meeting last Friday.”
Based on the validation reports from 1,246 LGUs, he said 6,899 roads all over the country were cleared of all types of obstruction with 328 local governments that got high compliance rating while 497 and 323 received medium and low compliance ratings, respectively. Ninety-seven LGUs got failed marks.
Malaya said the DILG will issue a new memorandum circular about the continuation of the program and the quarterly validation.
The DILG will also direct its field officers to assess the performance of their respective LGUs and advise them of how they can sustain and improve their performance.
“So, our advice to all LGUs is not to let their guard down, maintain and sustain what they have accomplished, continue with their road clearing operations, otherwise they will join the 97 LGUs that have been issued show cause orders by Secretary Año,” Malaya said.
The breakdown of the 97 issued show cause orders are: Region 1 has 11; Region 2, one; Region 3, one; Region 4-B, seven; Region 5, 10; Region 6, one; Region 7, 12; Region 8, nine; Region 9, 18; Region 10, 13; Region 11, three; Region 12, three; Region 13, four; and CAR, four. Reports from BARMM and Region 4-A are still forthcoming.
Malaya said DILG has also been working with other government agencies and private companies in compliance with the President’s directive to remove all public road obstructions.
To help decongest traffic during road accidents, Malaya said DILG Undersecretary Bernardo Florece is working with the Metropolitan Development Authority, Insurance Commission, Land Transportation Office, and the Philippine National Police for the use of the accident investigation report as an alternative to the Police Report in minor accidents.
“The DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) has also issued a Department Order that the issuance of cutting permits for trees obstructing roads should be released within three days if said request is in order,” Malaya said.
Malaya said the DILG is also coordinating with the Department of Public Works and Highways, Meralco and other electric cooperatives for the immediate transfer of the electric posts affected by the road widening projects.
“Usec Florece is also working with Meralco, PLDT, Globe and other utility companies for the use of a common-post system to reduce the number of posts on the sidewalk. All utility companies have agreed in principle and a working group has been created to work out the details,” Malaya said. (PR)