Last February, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) ordered all local government units (LGUs) to clear local and tertiary roads of obstructions within 75 days. However, the DILG has announced that the second round of road clearing operations, which started last February 17, has now been suspended. This is due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) which has continued to affect the countr.
The suspension of the road clearing operations will ensure that LGUs will focus all efforts to containing the spread of COVID-19. This is in compliance with the guidelines of the Department of Health (DOH) and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) approved by President Rodrigo Duterte. Clearing operations are set to resume upon the issuance of an advisory by the gov't agency.
Rather than clearing the streets, LGUs now have to deal with the Metro Manila-wide community quarantine. Depending on the city, they also have to properly implement the 8:00 PM to 5:00 AM curfew should the city have one in place. Social distancing measures have also been rolled out and are to be implemented.
The DILG added that local government officials are prohibited from traveling outside the Philippines in the next 30 days. This will ensure that they will be on the ground and hands-on in fighting the disease in their respective areas. Furthermore, the agency adds that all provincial governors and mayors of highly urbanized cities, as well as Senators and Congressmen, are free to travel in and out of Metro Manila to perform official functions.
“Mayors of component cities and municipalities may be allowed to enter Metro Manila subject to the approval of this Department on a case-to-case basis,” adds the DILG.
With the number of COVID-19 cases still spreading in the country, the last thing the government should be worried about is clearing the streets. However, just because clearing operations are suspended doesn’t mean you should park anywhere you like.