By Chtio Chavez
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said it continues to relentlessly monitor the local government units (LGU) with regards to President Duterte’s road clearing operation order.
DILG Undersecretary and Spokesman Jonathan Malaya noted the department has consistently conducted dialogues with the LGUs to effectively enforce the President’s directive.
He noted the effective implementation of the road clearing operations in the country will make LGUs and other stakeholders realize the gains that can be obtained and sustained in the long run.
Malaya said an example of this continuing dialogue was the meeting held recently between DILG officials, led by Secretary Eduardo M. Año and Taguig Mayor Lino Cayetano and his team, where the mayor discussed in detail the significant and continuing initiatives of the city government in reclaiming its public roads for public use.
During the dialogue, Cayetano explained that, among others, his “Improving Vehicle and Pedestrian Mobility Plan” (Mobility Plan) which is a wholistic three-pronged approach to road clearing and traffic management in the city.
The plan is aligned with the objectives of DILG Memorandum Circular 2019-121 which entails daily clearing operations; identification of open parking spaces in barangays and barangay covered courts for parking and tiangge pop-up sites; development of plans and programs for displaced constituents; revisiting related ordinances, rules, and regulations; study on opening villages during rush hours to ease traffic; and establishment of Mabuhay Lanes to serve as alternate routes.
‘’We commend and recognize the huge potential and long-term goal of the city’s Mobility Plan which requires more time than the 60-day period set by the department. The DILG was also acquainted with the unique challenges faced by Taguig City as a “probinsyudad,” with its unique mix of highly urbanized areas such as the Bonifacio Global City, and the narrow roads in the old part of Taguig which were originally designed for the use of Kalesas,’’ Malaya said.
Taking into consideration the unique characteristics of Taguig City and its numerous efforts to comply with DILG MC No. 2019-121, Malaya said the DILG has nullified the Low Compliance Rating it earlier gave to the city and has directed the NCR Regional Office to conduct another validation using improved parameters taking into account the unique situation of the city.
‘’As an agency, we are for continuous improvement not only of the performance of our LGUs but of our own organization and systems as well. We are therefore set to make necessary changes to improve the assessment process to strike a balance between the need to clear our roads and providing our LGUs enough time to work on improving their respective jurisdictions given that not all LGUs are similarly situated,’’ he pointed out.
‘’In the same light, we strongly encourage LGUs to maintain the gains that they have made in clearing public roads. Let us continue to be committed to giving all roads back to our people as directed by the President,’’ Malaya concluded.