ILOILO – Clearing roads and sidewalks is a big challenge for some mayors, revealed Mayor Mediatrix Fernandez of San Enrique, Iloilo and president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) Iloilo chapter.
The clearing would displace some businesses and some people’s livelihood, explained Fernandez.
She, however, said mayors are committed to follow the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to reclaim public roads and spaces being used for private ends.
There are 42 towns and one component city (Passi) in this province.
Through the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Duterte gave mayors 60 days beginning July 29 to clear roads and sidewalks of obstructions.
“Mabudlay man. Siempre affected ang iban. So the mayors try to balance things,” said Fernandez.
Perhaps the key, she said, is for mayors to enlighten their constituents, especially those affected, about the clearing’s purpose.
“Ti, directive ini sang Presidente para man sa common good sang tanan,” Fernandez stressed.
The clearing deadline is by the end of this month. DILG had said there won’t be extensions.
“We remind our mayors to take action na gid,” said Fernandez.
Sanctions on local government officials who are unable to comply with the order of the President would range from a reprimand, suspension, to dismissal from the service. After the 60-day deadline on Sept. 29, DILG secretary Eduardo Año said he would review the accomplishments of all local government units.
He also said all road clearing operations in the country apply to all, regardless of political affiliation and that illegally constructed structures on government lots will be dismantled whether they are government or private entities.
Under the DILG directive, aside from conducting road clearing operations, local governments must enact or revisit ordinances related to road clearing and banning of illegal construction; prepare an inventory of roads within their jurisdiction; develop and implement displacement strategies; and cause the rehabilitation of recovered public roads./PN