No parking until 2022?
posted 26-Sep-2019  ·  
1,188 views  ·   0 comments  ·  

Following is an excerpt from the Sept. 13, 2019 statement of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on the status and process of validating the local government units’ full compliance with the road clearing directive of the President:

‘The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has not yet declared any local government unit (LGU) in the country, including those in Metro Manila, as being 100 percent fully compliant with the Presidential Directive and the Department’s Memorandum Circular (MC) No.2019-121to clear their respective roads of illegal structures and constructions.

We have not made any determination on which LGUs are fully compliant because the assessment of all LGUs will come after the 60-day deadline which will be on September 29, 2019.

As stated in the DILG MC-121-2019, being fully compliant is not just about conducting road clearing operations in primary and secondary roads. For an LGU to be declared as fully compliant, they should also enact or revisit ordinances related to road clearing and banning of illegal construction; prepare an inventory of roads within their jurisdiction; develop and implement displacement strategies; and cause the rehabilitation of recovered public roads.”

A cursory reading of the DILG statement should convince any citizen on this island province that mere installation of “no parking” signs along roads would not free any LGU from its responsibility of clearing its roads of illegal structures and constructions, however difficult and politically unpalatable it may be.

And, as the DILG stresses, it is not just about road clearing.

The local government should review existing ordinances related to the road clearing campaign, prepare a local road inventory, develop displacement plans for those who will be affected by the campaign, and rehabilitate recovered public roads.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año may be pleased that road clearing is proceeding smoothly nationwide but he may not be aware that at the local level, nothing substantial is being done save for the installation of “No Parking” signs that have alienated motorists and other road users.

Along the provincial road in barangay Constantino in Virac, the barangay hall that encroaches on the sidewalk continues to exist just meters away from a “No Parking” sign. In another barangay, several stores and carinderias, including one owned by a village official, encroach on the sidewalk unmolested.

Furthermore, to the consternation of motorists who are regularly charged the Road Users Tax, the LGU has yet to designate alternative parking spaces in lieu of the sidewalks that it has declared off limits sans any consultation with those affected.

There is no indication that the municipal government would follow the example set by Mayor Isko Moreno and the Manila police when they demolished several barangay halls and police stations built on similar sidewalks.

It appears that those ordered to abide by the presidential directive during the State of the Nation Address, from the province down to the barangays, are merely going through the motions of compliance to save themselves from the trouble of being charged administratively.

“With more than two weeks to go before the deadline on September 29, the DILG enjoins all LGUs in the country, not just those in Metro Manila, to sustain the clearing of the roads for the benefit of the general public,” says the statement from the office of Sec. Año.

The DILG chief has said that the real test of the performance of the local chief executives lies in their consistency of maintaining the cleared roads beyond the September 29 deadline with the support of the police and the barangays.

Thus, all the LGU executives have to do is to keep the “No Parking” signs upright along the roads until their current term ends in 2022, the public’s adverse opinion be damned.

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