BAGUIO CITY – The city government mandated all barangay officials in the city’s 128 barangays to sustain the gains of the government’s anti-road obstruction campaign to free major national, city and barangay roads from encroachments from public and private structures, as well as illegally parked motor vehicles.
Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong said that while it is true that the 60-day grace period given by President Rodrigo Duterte for local officials to clear roads from obstructions and for them to recover public places for the use of the people already lapsed last week, it does not mean the campaign will also come to an end as this must be well sustained to instil the necessary discipline among residents and motorists for them to comply with the prescribed road-right-of-way of roads and waterways.
He disclosed the city government receive the accomplishment reports from barangay officials of most of the city’s barangays on the anti-road obstruction campaign and it is unfortunate that what was mostly done was road cleaning activities instead of road clearing, thus, it is incumbent upon the concerned barangay officials to work on the clearing of the road-right-of-way in their areas of jurisdiction.
The city chief executive gave the directive to all barangay officials to revisit their strategies in the implementation of their anti-road obstruction campaign so that all structures that encroached in the road-right-of-way of national, city and barangay roads within their areas of jurisdiction will be cleared the soonest.
According to him, the city government will sustain the campaign even beyond the prescribed deadline and owners of structures that encroached on the road-right-of-way of national, city and barangay roads and those that constricted the easement of waterways should start voluntarily demolishing such obstructions and not to await for the personnel of the city demolition team to implement such removal of structures.
He admitted there is still a long way to go in the implementation of the government’s anti-road obstruction campaign because there are some individuals who are contesting the demolition of their structures with land titles in their possession which must first undergo assessment and evaluation by experts whether the same had been legally issued by concerned authorities.
He asserted the implementation of the dismantling of the obstructions along roads and waterway easements have been done after giving due process to the owners of the said structures with several notices issued to them to voluntarily remove such encroachments or else it will be the personnel of the city that will do the dismantling activities.
The mayor appealed to the concerned barangay officials and the residents to cooperate in the implementation of the government’s anti-road obstruction campaign to achieve the overall objective of bringing back the public roads for public use and provide convenience to the majority of the populace.
Earlier, President Duterte gave local officials a maximum of 60 days to remove the obstructions on roads and waterways so that the same will be for public use or else they stand to face suspension from the service.
By Dexter A. See