Two years ago, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año ordered local barangays to begin clearing road obstructions in a span of 75 days. Memorandum Circular 2020 – 036 specifies bans on tricycles, pedicabs, and motorized pedicabs from plying national highways.
But of course, during those times, the pandemic restrictions hampered mobility in the country. As a result, the initiative took longer than expected to fully materialize.
Now that more schools are gearing for face-to-face classes, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) is urging local government units (LGUs) to sustain the nationwide road clearing campaign in the interest of protecting children from road accidents.
In addition, Sec. Año also said LGUs and the PNP should ensure national highways are free of tricycles and pedicabs unless there is an ordinance otherwise due to the lack of alternate routes.
“Kadalasang tricycle ang sinasakyan ng mga bata sa pagpasok sa eskuwela kaya naman mahalaga na tiyaking ng mga LGUs na ligtas ang daan at sumusunod ang mga drayber sa mga limitasyon nila.”
[Most students ride these tricycles in going to school, which is why it's important for LGUs to make sure that the roads are safe for travel and tricycle drivers follow their restrictions.]
As of May 2022, Año said that 93.53% or 38,690 out of 41,365 barangays continue to respond to the call to clear streets of obstructions for the month of March. In addition, he reported that all regions were above the 80% adherence rate in this initiative.
At the end of the day, in order for this initiative to fully realize its effectiveness, it's all down to the local government and its people to work together in keeping children, and roads free from accidents.