Only 4 towns here get “medium” rating on road clearing operation
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Contrary to earlier reports that it failed the validation, the municipality of Bato, along with three others, were given a “medium compliance” rating by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) with regards to its road clearing operation.

Also given the rating by the DILG’s Bureau of Local Government Supervision (BLGS) for achieving a score of 90 percent were the towns of Panganiban, San Andres and San Miguel.

Mayor Peter Cua attributed his town’s favorable rating to the completion of the new transport terminal which provides separate parking spaces for jeepneys and tricycles, leaving the municipal roads free from obstructions. Ambulant vendors and rolling stores were also provided permanent places in the new public market.

The San Andres mayor expressed satisfaction for the medium compliance mark as he visited all barangays to urge community leaders to comply with the road clearing orders. He said the municipal government would not let its guard down so that it would achieve a perfect score during the first of the regular assessment this December.

Getting a “low compliance” rating for achieving only 80 percent or even below the target were the municipalities of Virac, Bagamanoc (70%), Baras (80%), Caramoran (75%), Gigmoto (80%), Pandan (80%) and Viga (75%). The validation sheet reportedly gave no grade for the capital town.

In the entire Bicol region, 10 towns altogether failed the validation test: Daet, Basud, San Vicente and Talisay, all in Camarines Norte; Pili and Gainza in Camarines Sur; and, Cawayan, Pio V. Corpuz, and San Jacinto, in Masbate; and, Matnog in Sorsogon.

Seventeen towns earned “high compliance” ratings for achieving 91 to 100% of the target: Legazpi City, Ligao City, Tabaco City, Jovellar, and Polangui, all in Albay; Iriga City, Bato, Goa, Milaor, Sagnay and Tigaon, in Camarines Sur; Masbate City, Esperanza, Mandaon and San Pascual in Masbate; and, Bulusan, Castilla, Donsol and Prieto Diaz in Sorsogon.

Reports earlier stated that Bato failed in the validation done by a multisectoral group led by DILG but Catanduanes provincial director Uldarico Razal Jr. requested the central office to verify the matter as the validation team gave Bato a rating of 85%.

The rectified list was soon issued by the DILG, correctly reflecting the real score of the town.

According to DILG Secretary Eduardo Año, those who failed will be required to explain or justify their operations, with the department to determine whether or not they should be sanctioned, which could lead to the dismissal of the local officials in charge.

The DILG last week announced that the national road clearing program is now a continuous program of the government, with the department to conduct quarterly validation of road clearing efforts of all Local Government Units starting this December.

DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that the challenge now to local government units is to sustain the gains they achieved all year-round and for those in the medium and low compliance category to improve on their performance.

Based on the validation reports from 1,246 LGUs, 6,899 roads all over the country were cleared of all types of obstruction with 328 LGUs getting high compliance rating, 497 LGUs got medium compliance rating, 323 got low compliance rating and 97 LGUs got failing marks.

He said that a new memorandum circular will be issued by the DILG to all LGUs about the continuation of the program and the quarterly validation. The DILG will also direct its field officers to assess the performance of their respective LGUs and advise them of how they can sustain and improve their performance.

“So, our advice to all LGUs is not to let their guard down, maintain and sustain what they have accomplished, continue with their road clearing operations, otherwise they will join the 97 LGUs that have been issued show cause orders by Secretary Año,” he said.

Malaya also said that aside from LGUs, they have also been working with other government agencies and private companies in compliance with the President’s directive.

“To help decongest traffic during road accidents, DILG Usec Bernardo Florece is working with the MMDA, Insurance Commission, LTO and the PNP for the use of the accident investigation report as an alternative to the Police Report in minor accidents. The DENR has also issued a Department Order that the issuance of cutting permits for trees obstructing roads should be released within 3 days if said request is in order,” he said.

On electric posts left over from road widening projects, the DILG is currently in talks with the DPWH, Meralco and electric cooperatives for the immediate transfer of these posts to the sidewalk. “Usec Florece is also working with Meralco, PLDT, Globe and other utility companies for the use of a common-post system to reduce the number of posts on the sidewalk. All utility companies have agreed in principle and a working group has been created to work out the details,” he said.


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