Baguio eyes removal of dangerous tactile on sidewalks

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The city is eying the removal of some of the tactile that had been put in place along some of the major sidewalks to help in preventing the occurrence of untoward incidents posing a threat to the safety of pedestrians.

City Administrator Bonifacio dela Pen֮a stated that the public works department and the City Engineering Office (CEO) were tasked to assess the situation in the areas where the tactile had been put in place to make sure that the same do not pose a threat to the safety of pedestrians passing through the said sidewalks.

Further, he disclosed that the local government is awaiting the recommendations of the Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO) which was earlier tasked to engage the visually impaired individuals to try using the tactile before deciding on whether or not to remove the said materials that have been put in place in identified dangerous areas.

The city administrator claimed that the PDAO informed city officials that the office will be submitting its findings and recommendations within 2 weeks after the conduct of the assessment of the tactile that had already been put in place along some major sidewalks around the city.

Dela Pen֮a stipulated that the local government also requested the public works department to put on hold the continuous implementation of some of the projects involving the putting in place of tactile along sidewalks until such time that the PDAO shall have come out with its recommendations to guide the city and the implementing agency on how to proceed with the project.

According to him, the removal of tactiles that had been put in place in identified dangerous areas such as in sloping areas might be considered while there will be some tactile that will remain to serve as a guide for visually impaired individuals passing through the said areas in going to their desired destinations in the city.

He urged the public not to step on the tactile because the same is primarily intended for visually impaired individuals as part of the local government and the public works department’s compliance to the pertinent provisions of Batas Pambansa (BP) Bilang 344 or the Accessibility Law.

Dela Pen֮a vehemently denied the allegation of critics of the tactile project that the materials that had been put in place were substandard, saying that the tactile that had been put in place in some sidewalks around the city are of international standard and that his office made sure that the materials are of the appropriate quality as the same is primarily intended for the benefit of the visually impaired persons.

While admitting that there might be some lapses on the part of the local government in the planning, programming and implementation of the project, the local government department head emphasized that corrective measures are being instituted at the earliest possible time to address the issues and concerns of the affected sector to ensure that the remaining tactile on the sidewalks will still be useful for them and that those that had been identified to pose danger to the safety of the public will be removed for the overall safety of the residents and visitors alike. By Dexter A. See

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