DESPITE the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the people would rather that the government’s road-clearing operations be pursued with zeal and determination.
And it must be an earnest and no-nonsense campaign, particularly in areas where some local government and barangay officials are hesitant to rid the streets of all obstructions.
Admittedly, these local public servants do not want to antagonize their constituents who own illegally-constructed barber shops, sari-sari stores, and welding shops.
“Siyempre, ayaw nilang magalit ang mga ito dahil baka hindi sila iboto pagdatingng eleksyon,” according to a former barangay official of Pindangan East, Alcala, Pangasinan.
According to a top official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the nationwide road-clearing operation resumes on November 16.
Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, DILG spokesperson, said Local Government Units (LGUs) have until Jan. 15, 2021 to clear roads within their jurisdiction of any obstruction.
He said that under DILG Secretary Eduardo Ano’s Memorandum-Circular No. 2020-145, “meron pong dalawang buwan ang ating mga LGU na ipagpatuloy ang road-clearing program sa kanilang mga lugar.”
LGUs of areas under the so-called modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) should fully implement President Rodrigo Duterte’s road-clearing directive, according to Usec Malaya.
A partial implementation of the measure is allowed in areas under general community quarantine, while it is suspended in areas under enhanced community quarantine or modified ECQ.
And LGUs, in the view of many, have no choice but to remove all road obstructions, including house encroachments that obstruct the right of way, transport terminals and stores.
Ito ay kung ayaw nilang magalit si Pangulong Duterte!