ILOILO City – Mayor Jerry Treñas is hopeful that by Sept. 29 all of the city’s roads and sidewalks would have been cleared of obstructions.
Sept. 29 is the last day of the 60-day ultimatum that President Rodrigo Duterte gave local chief executives throughout the country to reclaim all public roads being used for private ends.
Clearing teams of the city government already removed obstructions from “85 percent” of roads and sidewalks, said Treñas.
“I have talked to Assistant Secretary Manuel Felix of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). Daw satisfied man sila sa lakat naton,” according to the mayor.
But there is one problem area – the Iloilo Terminal Market.
Treñas said it could not be touched due to a temporary restraining order and injunction issued by the court during the city hall administration he had succeeded.
“I was surprised,” said Treñas.
Today, he will have a meeting with the City Legal Office to get more information about the court order.
For this remaining week of road clearing, Treñas said, barangay councils should step up their efforts.
“Ginatugyan ko na sa ila nga sila maobra. Siling ko sa ila kon indi nila maobra, sila man na ‘ya pasakaan kaso,” said Treñas.
In July, President Duterte ordered DILG secretary Eduardo Año to be tough on local chief executives tolerating road obstructions.
“If there is a mayor or a governor or kung ano kang…sino kang demonyo ka, i-suspend mo, Sir Año. Give him time and if he cannot, if he is not up to it, then papahingahin mo na lang. Suspend mo na. Wala tayong magawa. They just keep on pleasing their own constituents because there is a constituent, a leader. Ganoon kayo, eh,” said Duterte.
Leading the clearing effort here are the city government’s Public Safety and Transportation Management Office and Task Force Against Squatters and Illegal Structures.
The city government has also tapped the help of the Iloilo City Police Office and Land Transportation Office.
“I hope people will understand. This is a direct order from the President. The city government is complying or we will face suspension,” said Treñas.
He added: “Indi lang ako. Barangay officials will also be suspended where illegal road structures and obstructions are found.”/PN