By Joseph Almer Pedrajas
The local city governments of Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela, which is collectively known as Camanava, intend to intensify efforts to rid their streets of obstruction in compliance with President Duterte’s directive.
In the Metro Manila Council (MMC) meeting in Makati Thursday, DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III reiterated the President’s call on local government officials, and on the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to undertake immediate action to ensure the “speedy and smooth flow of vehicular traffic.”
With this, city and municipal mayors were given 45 days to rid the sidewalks and roads in their areas of jurisdiction of obstructions or face investigation and suspension.
In an interview with the Manila Bulletin, Navotas Mayor Toby Tiangco said that “there was no problem” with the directive, and vowed to do everything within 45 days.
“Actually, since 2002, we have already been doing that,” Tiangco said. “And we even have an ordinance on that.”
Under Ordinance Number 2002-07, “all kinds of road obstructions in Navotas are prohibited…including the vending of foods, magazines, newspapers, cigarettes, brooms, and others; as well as shoe-shine [services]…and seeking of alms.”
Tiangco said that he was only waiting for the Memorandum Order of the national government, which is expected to be released on Monday, before taking further action.
“I also consider involving the local police in heading the operations,” he added.
The Malabon City government, meanwhile, said that it will “intensify their efforts” to see to it that the city follows the President’s order.
“Of course, we can do it within 45 days,” Bong Padua, city’s chief public information officer, said.
“The Malabon City local government has been conducting cleaning and clearing operations on our roads and ridding the city of obstructions for a long time,” Padua added.
Padua said that after the meeting, Mayor Lenlen Oreta talked to his traffic and engineering office personnel, among others, to take necessary efforts.
“Illegal parking violators are our major concern,” Padua added. “Mayor Lenlen might consider adding more people to man our major thoroughfares.”
On the other hand, Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian said that “[they] have been consistent with clearing [their] roads of obstruction,” and that “the city government will not relent in clearing its roads.
“In the event there are new obstructions, we [will] immediately remove these. We have dedicated teams clearing our sidewalks and roads,” Gatchalian said.
The Valenzuela City’s chief executive also said that he was “confident that [their] major roads are free of obstructions.”
The Caloocan City government also assured that they will comply with the President’s order.
“The city is already doing its best in clearing the streets [even] prior to the said order,” Kate Javier, city public information officer, added.
The DILG Undersecretary said that “they will be strict” in implementing Duterte’s order.
“Just to emphasize, the undersecretaries and assistant secretaries of DILG will be assigned to respective LGUs here in the metropolis so that they will be the ones monitoring Metro Manila,” Densing said.