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DILG asks barangay chiefs to help clear roads to avoid ASEAN gridlock

A police officer removes the caution tape placed around the venue for the emergency drill at the Philippine International Convention Center, the venue for the ASEAN leaders' summit and related summits Monday, Nov. 6, 2017 in suburban Pasay city, southeast of Manila, Philippines. ASEAN leaders and its dialogue partners such as the United States, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the European Council and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres are attending the summit. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Interior and Local Government on Tuesday sought for help from barangay chiefs in Metro Manila to avoid the gridlock experienced by motorists due to the Association of the South East Asian Nations Summit.

DILG Officer-in-Charge Catalino Cuy urged barangay chiefs to do their role in clearing obstructions, illegal structures, illegally parked vehicles and in handling waste management within their jurisdiction.

Cuy, also the chair of the interagency ASEAN 2017 Committee on Security, Peace and Order, Emergency Preparedness and Response (CSPOEPR), made the statement after commuters and motorists last Saturday complained about the heavy traffic along major roads due to the arrivals of ASEAN delegates.

“The clearance of roads would pave the way to motorists’ use of alternative routes and would then ease the gridlock in EDSA and major thoroughfares covered by ASEAN lanes,” Cuy said.

“City governments in the Metro and barangay chiefs have a crucial role in maintaining the clearing of roads which can be used instead of EDSA and would make travel easier for the general public,” he added.

Cuy explained that his committee and the Metro Manila Development Authority cannot do it alone since residents or business owners in areas cleared by the MMDA place back the obstructions.

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The DILG chief also called on the local government units to be “proactive” in their traffic role management.

Cuy assured that CSPOEPR is “making necessary adjustments to mitigate the traffic jam not only in EDSA but as well as in NLEX (North Luzon Expressway).”

The DILG chief reminded barangay chiefs of a memorandum of agreement between the DILG National Capital Region and the MMDA signed in August 2017, which states that they should assist the DILG in clearing operations. Village chiefs and local government units are also ordered to submit a report on their assistance.

According to DILG, MMDA inspects supposed cleared areas to ensure its maintenance as it warned that uncooperative village chiefs would be sanctioned. MMDA issues warning on barangays that do not comply and report it to the DILG.

“if a barangay still fails to comply, the MMDA files an administrative case before the Sangguniang Panlungsod within 60 days against an erring barangay official. The MMDA informs DILG NCR of the action and the latter requests the Sanggunian to expedite the disposition of the case,” the DILG said.

The DILG earlier implemented lockdown and road closures on areas affected by the ASEAN Summit. — Rosette Adel

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