Last year, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered that all primary and secondary roads be cleared of obstructions last year. He ordered mayors, as well as governors to cooperate during road clearing operations in order to ensure speedy and smooth flow of traffic.
Now, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has ordered local government units (LGUs) 75 days to clear local and tertiary roads. Under the DILG's Road Clearing Operations 2.0, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año wants local barangays to begin clearing road obstructions immediately.
“I direct LGUs, especially the barangays, to clear local roads and sustain the gains of the road-clearing operations with the same urgency and enthusiasm as when the President himself directed us during the State of the National Address. I'm giving you 75 calendar days to do this. This will continue whether you like it or not, especially since it has produced favorable results for the people," Año said.
Unlike last year where only the mayor's performance had to be validated, the DILG said that barangay captains will have to be assessed as well since they have the no.1 responsibility in this matter. “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," added Año.
Apart from ordering the LGUs and barangays to clear up local roads, they also have to enact and review existing ordinances in relation to the road clearing operation. Furthermore, they will also conduct an inventory of roads within their jurisdiction and conduct regular removal of obstructions in provincial, city, municipal, barangay, national, and primary/secondary roads. Rehabilitation of cleared roads, along with a displacement strategy for those affected by the operation, also have to be planned out by the LGUs.
Año reiterated that full cooperation from local barangays and their residents is required during the road clearing operations. Through DILG Memorandum 2020 – 027, he ordered that Punong Barangays are to be at the helm of clearing local and barangay roads within their jurisdiction. Road obstructions such as vehicles parked in prohibited areas (sidewalks/alleys), illegal PUV terminals, vending sites of any kind, house encroachments that block any right-of-way, protruding gates, and indiscriminate signage and advertisements must be removed from barangay roads.
In addition, trees that may be hazardous to the public may be pruned or removed entirely in coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Meanwhile, electric posts, street lights, and instrumentation boxes that obstruct roads must be coordinated to the utility company and the LGU for possible relocation.
With the DILG's deadline set for 75 days, the barangays and LGUs have their work cut out for them in clearing out obstructed roads.