The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) clarified today that the directive issued yesterday by the Department in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s instruction to clear roads of obstructions does not only cover local chief executives (LCEs) of Metro Manila but all Local Government Units across the entire country.
“No local government is exempted from the directive. We are just giving extra attention to Metro Manila because the problem of road obstructions is most acute in the National Capital Region (NCR) but the memorandum circular covers the entire country,” said DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan E. Malaya.
Malaya explained that since the instruction to “reclaim public roads which are being used for private ends” came from the President himself during his 4th State of the Nation Address (SONA), the directive applies not only to NCR but to the rest of the country.
“As DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said, this should be a nationwide undertaking. Hindi lang naman sa Metro Manila matraffic kundi pati sa Cebu, Iloilo, at sa iba pang lugar sa ating bansa. So, yung instruction to DILG to recommend the suspension of negligent mayors also applies to those in the provinces,” he said.
On July 29, 2019, the DILG issued Memorandum Circular 2019-121 directing all governors, mayors, and punong barangays to exercise their powers essential to reclaim public roads, rid them of illegal structures and constructions, rehabilitate them by placing street names and street lights, and carry out strategies to address possible displacement issues.
“We expect all DILG field officers in the provinces to immediately meet with their respective mayors to brief them on the guidelines issued by Secretary Año on the implementation of the President’s SONA directive and to ensure their compliance,” said Malaya.
Since the road clearing efforts will be a continuing activity, DILG regional offices are also obliged to submit weekly compliance and progress reports to the Office of the DILG Secretary during the 60-day compliance period.
“Hindi dapat ningas-cogon lang ito. Tuloy-tuloy ang pagsasaayos natin ng mga lansangan para tuloy-tuloy rin ang pag-unlad ng ating mga komunidad,” said Malaya.
According to him, similar to Metro Manila Mayors, LCEs outside of NCR may also be recommended for suspension to the President if no significant improvement is seen in their respective areas after the lapse of 60 days.
“Sabi nga ni Secretary, dapat hindi na kailangang takutin pa o patawan ng parusa ang mga mayors dahil instinct na nila dapat ang pagtupad ng tungkulin. But we want to send a strong message that we in the DILG mean business and we will make sure that everyone complies with the President’s directive,” he said.