THE Department of the Interior and Local Government Central Visayas (DILG 7) has started its validation and assessment process of road clearing operations in Cebu.
On Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, a team was sent by the DILG 7 to the towns of Ronda, Barili, Pinamungajan and Oslob in southern Cebu to begin the validation process.
This is in compliance with a national directive for local government units (LGUs) to clear all road obstructions within their jurisdictions to ease the flow of traffic.
Lawyer Ian Kenneth Lucero, chief of DILG 7’s Local Government Monitoring and Evaluation Division and officer-in-charge of DILG-Cebu City, said part of the guidelines for the validation process is to ensure that minimum health protocols are still being observed.
He said the rising coronavirus cases in Cebu, particularly Cebu City, was considered in setting the validation schedules.
The validation team is composed of personnel from the DILG, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, and a third party or a representative from a civil society organization.
Lucero said Ronda’s road clearing effort is being validated by Dumanjug; Barili’s is being assessed by Aloguinsan; Pinamungajan is being checked by Toledo City while Oslob’s road clearing compliance is being evaluated by Santander.
They are the first batch of LGUs in Cebu Province to undergo the already postponed road clearing validation after the road clearing deadline was extended from Feb. 5 to Feb. 15, 2021.
Lucero said based on the initial validation schedule he was able to secure, Cebu City is set to be evaluated by Mandaue City on March 2, the last day of the validation and assessment period for the regional level.
Cebu City, on the other hand, is scheduled to evaluate the road clearing efforts of Mandaue City on Feb. 23.
Other areas of the province will be evaluated on Feb. 22 and March 1.
Lucero said it will be the LGU of Lapu-Lapu City that will assess the compliance of some of these areas with the nationwide road clearing directive.
He added that since the entire Central Visayas is currently only under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) status, the LGUs are required to fully implement road clearing.
He said the LGUs are expected to check three to 10 public roads of the LGU that they are assigned to validate.
He said in clearing road obstructions, the LGUs must also have a displacement and rehabilitation strategy and an appropriate grievance mechanism.
Local validation teams will also check on the LGU’s tricycle road map or plan and its inventory of public roads.
Meanwhile, road obstructions were seen in Mandaue City during a validation dry run conducted by the DILG.
DILG Mandaue Director Johnjoan Mende said they noticed utility posts of electrical and telecommunication companies, trees and illegally parked vehicles blocking some roads.
He said while they could not do much about the utility posts, they will coordinate with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources regarding the trees.
Mende said their biggest challenge is in dealing with establishments like motor parts dealers and vulcanizing shops that often use sidewalks for their trade or the road as parking area.
Nevertheless, Mende said Mandaue City has done a great deal in changing the sidewalks and clearing the roads.
Mende said they have tasked the barangays to maintain the cleared roads from any obstructions.
Meanwhile, Ernesto Bongo, operations head of the Mandaue City Enforcement Unit (MCEU), said they will now issue traffic citations to motorists obstructing roads.
A P500 fine will be imposed on vehicles blocking the road while an unattended vehicle or illegal parking will be fined P1,000.
On the first offense, motorists will be issued a warning and given a flyer on the different penalties should they be caught obstructing the roads again. (WBS, KFD)