DILG revs up road clearing drive
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon, Alicia Ivy L. Chua (The Freeman) - February 27, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — To sustain the government’s efforts to clear the roads of obstructions, all cities and municipalities were ordered to designate impounding areas for towed vehicles.

Secretary Eduardo Año of the Department of the Interior and Local Government issued Memorandum Circular 2020-031 which require all local government units to have impounding areas for the safekeeping of illegally parked vehicles.

“Isa ring nakasasagabal sa ating mga lansangan ay ang mga nakahambalang na sasakyan na kung saan-saan na lang tumitigil at pumaparada. Ang mga illegally parked vehicles ay kailangang i-tow at dalhin sa impounding area. It is, therefore, incumbent upon cities and municipalities to designate impounding areas for the safekeeping of towed vehicles,” said Año in a statement.

He also called on all local legislative councils to pass ordinances specifying towing guidelines, impounding, and releasing of impounded vehicles and prescribing corresponding penalties. Año, however, reminded them that such ordinances should be consistent with national laws and policies, and shall not be unreasonable or discriminatory.

  The latest memorandum reinforces Memorandum Circular 2019-121 issued last July, mandating local governments to reclaim roads and revoke parking permits of private vehicles on public roads.

Section 16 of the Local Government Code grants police powers to local government units to regulate the use of roads, direct traffic, and remove obstructions.

“Kahanay po nito ang isa pa naming direktiba, ang MC 2020-004, na sumasakop sa operasyon ng mga tricycle kasama ang pagbibigay ng prangkisa. Ang mga tricycle ang madalas na sakit ng ulo ng mga traffic enforcer lalo na kung walang terminal at kung saan-saan na lang nag-aabang ng pasahero,” Año said.

DILG undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that tricycles apprehended for operating in national highways should be brought to the impounding areas identified by the LGUs.

“With Road Clearing 2.0 and the prohibition of tricycles in national highways, all LGUs should have the necessary facilities to implement these directives. And this includes tow trucks and impounding areas,” he said.

Meanwhile, the DILG is set to convene today the validation teams for the barangay road clearing. Lawyer Ian Lucero, DILG-7 Local Government Monitoring and Evaluation Division chief, said the team is composed of representatives from DILG, Philippines National Police (PNP), and Bureau of Fire Protection. It will be headed by the DILG.

Lucero said that the validation teams can already start the validation process in barangays that have finished the clearing operations even before the April 30, 2020 deadline.

 “Kung nakit-an na namo na ang barangay nahuman na niya clear ang mga barangay roads and kadtong na turn over, we will not wait for April 30 kay nahuman naman so pwede na nato i-validate,” said Lucero.

There are five teams from DILG that will monitor, assess and evaluate the performance of LGUs. Lucero said the purpose of convening the validation teams today is to settle the assigned task of each team.

“Para ma discuss na ang mga buhatonon sa validation teams ug sa mga barangays, ug i-schedule unsa ang mag-cluster na mga barangays and unsa ang mga assignments sa five validation teams,” said Lucero.

LGUs were warned that failure to comply with the directives would mean criminal and administrative charges before the Office of the Ombudsman. FPL (FREEMAN)

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