By Chito Chavez
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has asserted the urgency of meeting local officials to resolve pressing issues on clearing roads from all obstructions especially those utilized by private individuals for financial gains.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año has reiterated on Wednesday the need to earnestly conduct the clearing operations to allow the smoother flow of traffic.
The meeting is also in line with the President’s order of reclaiming private properties that are being used for private purposes to ease traffic congestion in the country.
In his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, the President directed Año to suspend non complying mayors and governors who may also have a hand in the illegal use of government properties.
“I reiterate my directive, my request, my pleadings to the MMDA and all concerned local officials in Metro Manila and all other cities to undertake immediate action to ensure the speedy and smooth flow of vehicular traffic. Reclaim all public roads that are being used for private ends,” Duterte said in his speech at the opening of a joint session of the 18th Congress at the Batasang Pambansa complex in Quezon City.
Reports revealed that in a study the country’s daily economic losses had reached P3.5 billion due to the horrendous traffic situation particularly in Metro Manila.
Taking the queue from Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, Año said he is inclined to make an inventory of roads used as parking areas and bazaars, like those in the Divisoria shopping district in Manila.
Admitting the task to be very challenging, Año has eyed the review and repeal of local traffic ordinances that run against the traffic law policies of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and are simply ineffective in addressing traffic woes.
The DILG chief also will inspect secondary roads that may serve as alternative routes.
He said this should be done in support of the government’s anti-illegal parking campaign and to clear the metropolis from all obstructions.
Earlier, the President said that travel time from Cubao, Quezon City to Makati City will take within five minutes if all the public roads are made lawfully available to the motorists.