LGUs told to clear roadways anew in 75 days

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MANILA  The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has given local government units (LGUs) 75 days to finish the second round of road clearing operations in their respective localities in a bid to “reclaim” the nation’s roads in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive.

Through DILG Memorandum Circular 2020-027, Secretary Eduardo M. Año directed all LGUs to continue the implementation of the road-clearing directive and ensure that their efforts to maintain cleared roads are sustained.

“Binibigyan ko kayo (LGUs) ng 75 calendar days para gawin ito (I am giving you 75 calendar days to do this),” Año said in a press briefing on Monday held at DILG main office in Quezon City.

The clearing operations will now include local and tertiary roads, as stated under DILG memorandum order 2020-027.

He said the LGUs must enact or review existing ordinances in relation to the road-clearing operation; conduct an inventory of roads within their jurisdiction; conduct regular removal of obstructions in provincial, city, municipal, barangay roads and national primary and secondary roads; implement a displacement strategy for those affected by the operation; rehabilitate cleared roads; and establish a grievance mechanism in which citizens can report unremoved obstructions, provide suggestion, or voice out implementation concerns.

Provincial governors are also directed to ensure the compliance of city and municipal mayors and conduct regular interface with the mayors to discuss the implementation of the directive. They are likewise tasked to ensure that provincial ordinances and issuances are in line with the DILG directive on the road-clearing operation.

City and municipal mayors are expected to monitor compliance of barangays in the road-clearing efforts of the national government.

Additional parameters in the new order, Año said, were the feedback mechanism for the people to immediately report roads that have obstructions and to complain of the inaction of the barangay officials.

Local chief executives who will fail to comply with the order will be given a show cause order, Año said.

Their response will be used to determine if administrative charges will be filed against them, he added.

Also, rehabilitation of the cleared roads should also be maintained by the villages.

Año warned that non-complying village chiefs would be charged.

“We recognize that the barangays have the No. 1 responsibility in keeping their roads obstruction-free so under Road Clearing 2.0 we will also assess the performance of the barangays and file appropriate charges if necessary,” he said.

Meanwhile, Año explained that it took them months before ordering the new version of the road clearing due to the series of events such as the eruption of Taal Volcano, the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19), and the Christmas season.

“Overall point nito is magtulung-tulong si mayor, governor, at DILG para gawin ang trabaho niya (village chief). (The overall point of this is the mayor, governor and DILG should unite to make the village chief do his or her job),” Año said.

Previously, DILG ordered all LGUs to clear primary and secondary roads within 60 days.

Moreover, Año urged the public to report to them any non-compliance.

He further urged them to cooperate in the road-clearing efforts “for the success of this operation will benefit them, the citizens of the barangay.”

After the validation, Año reported that 97 out of the 1,245 LGUs were non-compliant of which 10 were administratively charged for failing to comply with the directive.He said a total of 6,682 primary and secondary roads nationwide were cleared of obstructions. (PNA