The Bacolod City government will resume its road clearing operations on Monday, November 16, as ordered by the Department of the Interior and Local Government, after the activity was temporarily suspended for seven months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The DILG has issued Memorandum Circular No. 2020-145 giving all LGUs 60 days, from November 16 until January 15, 2021, to comply with the presidential directive to resume the clearing of roads of illegal structures and construction, a press release from the Bacolod Public Information Office said.
DILG-Bacolod city director Ma. Joy Maredith Madayag briefed the 61 barangay captains of s of Bacolod on the presidential directive, through the DILG, at the Bacolod City Government Center Tuesday, November 10, in the presence of Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, and City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan.
Leonardia said the road clearing operations will put more order in the streets of Bacolod, which earlier earned a compliance rating of 87 percent for the implementation of the program during the initial validation in October 2019.
The barangay captains must comply with the presidential directive on road clearing, otherwise, they will face administrative sanctions from the DILG, Leonardia added.
This road clearing program is also related to the fight against COVID-19.
Section 4 (II) of Republic Act 11494 or the “Bayanihan to Recover as One Act” provides that part of the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Interventions include the regulation of traffic on all roads, streets and bridges, and access thereto and the prohibition against putting up of encroachments or obstacles.
Further, Section 17 (b) of the Local Government Code of 1991 mandates all provincial, city, municipal, and barangay governments to manage and maintain roads within their jurisdiction as a basic service and facility.
Madayag discussed the salient points of DILG Memorandum Circular 2020-145, reiterating the roles of the barangay and the reports needed to be accomplished. She also gave a refresher on the previous issuances issued by the DILG and the importance of coordinated efforts.
“The continuation of the road clearing program is also part of our transition to the ‘New Normal’ so we need to ensure that public roads do not have illegal obstructions and that they are kept safe from potential danger to citizens and the community,” she said.
Madayag explained that the implementation of the road clearing program depends on the community quarantine status of the LGU.
She said partial implementation will be imposed in Bacolod City while it is under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) this November, which is limited to the actual removal or abatement of road and sidewalk obstructions that are considered dangerous to motorists and pedestrians, and road clearing for the purpose of establishing bike lanes.
However, she said, full implementation will be imposed if Bacolod transitions to Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ), which requires LGUs to adopt all components of the Road Clearing Operations as provided for in DILG Memorandum Circular 2020-027.
Leonardia again reminded the barangay captains to also continue the campaign efforts for the prevention of COVID-19 because there is no guarantee yet that the fight against the pandemic will be over soon.
“Everybody has to do his part. COVID is still here and the barangays must actively and aggressively continue the efforts to contain it,” Leonardia said.*