ILOILO City – Drying palay (unhusked rice) and other farm produce along national highways is not allowed, stressed the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Region.
Department Order No. 41, Series of 2013 prohibiting the practice would be strictly enforced, said Vivian Tan, DPWH regional information officer.
The ban aims to free the national highways from obstructions that could result to vehicular accidents, explained Tan.
Department Order No. 41 was issued in April 12, 2013 yet by then DPWH secretary Rogelio Singson. It invoked Section 23 of Presidential Decree No. 17 declaring as unlawful the usurpation of any portion of right-of-way or conversion of any part of any public highway, bridges, wharf or trail to private use, or obstructing the same in any manner.
A violator may be fined not exceeding P1,000 and/or imprisoned for a maximum of six months.
Since the Department Order No. 41 was issued, no violator had been arrested and fined or imprisoned in Western Visayas, according to Tan.
This was because a warning was enough for violators to remove their obstructions from national highways, she explained.
DPWH-6 found it a big challenge to consistently monitor national highways every day, especially those in far-flung areas, said Tan.
It has thus appealed to local government units for help in the strict enforcement of Department Order No. 41.
The public’s help is also being enlisted. Tan said anyone may alert DPWH-6 either by filing a complaint at the regional office or posting complaints on the regional office’s Facebook page./PN