By Chito Chavez
Even with its huge land area, the Quezon City government has vowed to meet the 60-day deadline issued by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in clearing all public properties from all obstructions.
Quezon City traffic czar Ariel Inton said over 70 percent of the major thoroughfares and inner roads that the city has developed are now free from all obstructions.
“We are confident about beating the deadline. Kaya natin ito before the 60-day period ends (This can be done before the 60-day period ends),” said Inton.
Inton admitted that the size of Quezon City poses a huge challenge in their clean-up operations.
He noted Quezon City covers almost 25 percent of Metro Manila’s total land area of 166.20 square kilometers.
The traffic czar added that Caloocan City and Manila the two cities with excellent road clearing accomplishments have 53.33 and 42.88 square kilometers of land area, respectively.
He emphasized that the other cities which already completed their respective clean-up drives were smaller compared to Quezon City.
These are Makati (27.36 square kilometers), Marikina (22.64) Malabon (15.96) Navotas (11.51) Pasay (18.31), San Juan, (5.87) and Valenzuela (47.75) and the municipality of Pateros (10.40).
“We are not competing with other cities or LGUs but we are competing against time here,” Inton stressed.
Mayor Joy Belmonte appointed Inton to head the Task Force on Transport and Traffic Management, which is responsible for the traffic aspect of “Task Force 60 Days”, which she created in accordance with President Duterte’s order to clear major roads and secondary roads.
Meanwhile, as part of its clearing operation, the Quezon City government has removed the statue of the late Sen.Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. after its base was damaged during a road-clearing operation by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
The city government is moving the martyred Senator’s statue to a better and more ideal location.
Ninoy’s children — former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and his sisters Ballsy, Pinky, Kris and Viel – have already given their blessing on the transfer of their father’s statue.
The former President prefered the statue of his father to be transferred to the park that was named after him, but Kris wanted it to be moved to an Ayala Corp. development at the City’s North Triangle.
Belmonte said the statue will be temporarily placed in a storage facility for safekeeping until a permanent and ideal relocation site is identified.