MANILA Local chief executives of Metro Manila on Monday heeded President Rodrigo Duterte's call to clear streets and thoroughfares of obstruction in order to ease traffic congestion.
Neophyte Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto, along with the other mayors, vowed to comply with the President's directive as he stressed that his co-officials share the willingness to help improve the road condition in the metropolis.
Kami po sa Pasig ay in full support of the effort of the President to reclaim our public roads at siguro magandang unang hakbang po ang ginawa natin dahil nandito po ang national agencies at ibang mayor ng Metro Manila para po magkaisa po ang mga polisiya natin (We in Pasig are in full support of the president's effort to reclaim public roads. Also, having the national agencies and other mayors here is a good idea so we can be united with our policies [strategies]), Sotto said.
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, who have started early with ridding public roads of illegal vendors and settlers, expressed that Manila will soon reinstate its glory.
Bilang kapital na lungsod ng bansa, nararapat lamang na ito ay malinis at kaaya-aya (Being the country's capital city, Manila should be clean and presentable, he said.
Last week, the DILG said the Metro mayors were only given 45 days to remove all road obstructions but it was extended to 60 days to give more time for big cities to accomplish the task.
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte admitted that she asked for an extension as her city is the biggest in the region in terms of land area.
Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Jojo Garcia said he is confident that the mayors will accomplish President Rodrigo Duterte's directive to reclaim public roads used for private purposes in order to ease traffic congestion in the metropolis.
"Solid lahat ng mga mayor dito sa directive na ito (All mayors are committed to this directive), they are 100% agree to rid of road obstructions to help the metro become comfortable again, Garcia said in a press briefing at the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) office in Quezon City.
DILG Secretary Eduardo AAo also praised the local executives who attended the meeting on their commitment to the President's program.
With this endeavor, I am elated with the presence of our Metro Manila mayors, I am happy with your solidarity and commitment to solve this problem. Rest assured we at the department are here to help you, he said, adding that the mayors are given a fair 60-day countdown to reclaim public roads used for private ends.
This program to clear all road obstructions in Metro Manila as well as all over the country is long overdue. Hindi na uubra ang mga alibi lalo na't ang Pangulo na mismo ang nag-utos. Kelan pa ba tayo aaksyon para maibsan ang traffic? (No alibi will be acceptable especially that the president himself ordered it. This is the prime time to act on the [bad] traffic, the secretary furthered.
Primary roads, directly contributing to traffic, are the top priority, as well as arterial roads leading to main thoroughfares such as Commonwealth Avenue, OsmeAa Highway, Aurora Boulevard, C5, among others.
Next on the list will be tertiary roads and residential areas where even the sidewalks are being used as tiangge, parking area, sari-sari store and house extension.
In a memorandum circular issued on Monday, the DILG ordered all local chief executives to revoke permits that authorize private entities to occupy public roads, alleys, and other thoroughfares.
It also ordered all local government units to prepare an inventory of all roads within its jurisdiction and enjoined city and provincial councils to revisit ordinances and legislative measures to ensure that these comply with the President's order as well as with existing laws and policies.
In cases of local officials who will not abide by the President's directive, a two-month suspension will be imposed while investigations are ongoing. It can either lead up to one month, one year, or two years at most.
The memorandum circular came after the President, in his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) last week, called on all local officials to exercise their powers to reclaim public roads which are being used for private ends and in the process, rid them of illegal structures and constructions.
Talagang nagkaroon ng pagpapabaya sa bahagi ng LGU at pagmamalabis sa bahagi ng mga mamamayan. Kapag pinabayaan natin ito, sisikip ng sisikip ang mga daanan, mas lalong lalala ang traffic at walang mangyayaring pagbabago (There are lapses with the LGU and the public abused it. If we still ignore it today, change will not happen) Ano added.
Local governments are also to cause rehabilitation of all recovered public roads by placing street names and street lights, among others.
They are likewise encouraged to develop and implement strategies that will address the displacement issues cause by the implementation of these directives. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency