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Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)

Team formed to assess road-clearing operations

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The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has formed a team composed of different government officials to assess the outcome of the two-month road-clearing operations.

DILG Undersecretary for Operations Epimaco Densing III said the validation is expected to be completed by Saturday and will be submitted to Secretary Eduardo Año upon his arrival from Russia early next week.

Though the 60-day deadline was too tight, Densing said local leaders nationwide did their best to clear the roads of obstructions.

“Thirty years of obstruction of roads and sidewalks so talagang tinapos nila (they really completed) in 60 days,” Densing told the media after the Metro Manila Council (MMC) meeting at the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) main office in Makati City.

He said the validating team is composed of representatives from the DILG, Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and non-government organizations (NGOs).

He said validation will be based on the removed obstructions along the roads and sidewalks, on revised related ordinances, on the proper transfer of vendors, rehabilitation of recovered roads and sidewalks, and road inventory for the purpose of sustainability of the program.

Densing explained that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the DILG will only be looking for substantial compliance of the order and that results of the validation are still subject to discussions.

“At the end of the day, as I’ve been saying and Sec. Año is saying, substantial compliance to the presidential compliance. We cannot finish everything in 60 days,” Densing said.

During the meeting, he said the MMC also passed a resolution ordering the LGUs to enact programs to maintain cleanliness on the streets of Metro Manila.

“Most probably the next stage here is just to make sure the barangay captains maintain cleanliness,” Densing said.

In his last State of the Nation Address, Duterte asked the MMDA and local government officials to “reclaim all public roads being used for private ends” to help ease traffic congestion especially in Metro Manila.

The DILG later released a memorandum circular ordering all LGUs, including Metro Manila, to clear public roads in 60 days that ended on Sept. 29, 2019.

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