INTERIOR Secretary Eduardo Año has ordered local government units to resume the campaign to clear all roads and highways throughout the country of obstruction so they can be used by people starting November 16.
In a memorandum circular dated October 27, Año ordered local officials to resume the road clearing operation that was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Año gave local officials until January 15 to “sufficiently comply” with the memorandum.
In the order, Año said areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) should fully implement the order. He said there shall be partial implementation of the memorandum in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ).
All areas are in the country under MGCQ, except for Metro Manila, Lanao del Sur, Batangas, Tacloban City City, Bacolod City, Iligan City, and Iloilo City, which are under GCQ.
“We hope that the LGUs, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, will show the same enthusiasm and positive results that they were able to achieve last year as we aim for safer and accessible roads free from illegal and potentially hazardous encroachments,” Año said.
“Despite the January 15 deadline, we wish to remind the LGUs that RCO (road clearing operation) is (a) year-long endeavor, kaya kailangan natin ang kanilang commitment at pakikiisa (that’s why we need their commitment and cooperation),” he added.
The DILG initially launched the campaign to clear all roads of obstruction last year butthe objective was not fully met. The campaign was re-launched early this year but was interrupted by the deadly virus.
“We may have resumed RCO 2.0 but we acknowledge the threat posed by COVID-19, hence, we still take into consideration the quarantine classification of the LGU,” said Año, a member of the Inter-AGency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Año urged LGU officials to maintain their dedication in clearing the roads of obstructions.
Early this year, 10 mayors were administratively charged before the Ombudsman for failing to comply with the order last year.
“We maintain the same resolve and principle as when we started this campaign. Ito po ay para sa kaginhawahan ng ating mga mamamayan (this is for the welfare our people) and we expect the LGUs down to the barangays to deliver,” said Año.
During the Laging Handa press briefing yesterday, DILG undersecretary and spokesman Jonathan Malaya said: “Ang road clearing program na alam po nating sinuspended nung Marso ay babalik mula November 16. (The road clearing program, which we know was suspended in March, will resume starting November 16.