The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has reminded all local government units (LGUs) of the deadline on February 15 of Road Clearing 2.0 and the validation of program starting February 16 to March 2.
DILG Officer-in-Charge (OIC) and Undersecretary Bernardo C. Florece, Jr. said that the DILG will be fair in the road-clearing validation but will point out the deficiencies so that this can be acted upon soonest by the LGUs.
“One of the strategies that we will adopt is that once a road is cleared by the LGU, a contract is drawn up and signed by the Barangay Captain who then is now responsible for maintaining the cleared roads. There will also be an exit conference with the mayor so that he is advised of the results of the validation,” he said.
He also said that no-parking signs and visual cues must be placed in cleared roads so that the residents do not go back to their old ways.
Florece acknowledges that with the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines, LGUs may have their hands full but he nonetheless challenges them to comply with the President’s directive. “Nais po nating makita ang tagumpay ng road clearing operations sa buong bansa ngunit ayaw rin nating maantala ang rollout ng vaccine kaya’t dapat galingan ng ating mga mayor,” he said.
February 16 to March 2 is the validation period for all provinces, cities, and municipalities, while March 9 is the deadline for all DILG Regional Offices (ROs) to submit their respective compliance data and forms as well as attachments to the DILG Central Office (CO) – Bureau of Local Government Supervision (BLGS).
The Department, through the BLGS, will ensure that all LGUs adhere to the principles of road clearing, even beyond the validation period making it a whole-year-round program. Personnel from the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), as well as representatives from civil society organizations (CSOs), will be part of the local Validation Teams (VTs).
Meanwhile, DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan E. Malaya urges LGUs to include the promotion of road discipline and education in line with the conduct of their road clearing operations.
According to Malaya, a total of 38,725 vehicular incidents have been recorded by the PNP from November 1, 2020 to February 1 this year.
“Hindi po dapat nagtatapos ang ating trabaho sa road clearing operations. Sa panahong ang mga kalsada sa buong bansa ay naibalik na sa publiko, responsibilidad din po nating panatiliin itong ligtas,” he said.
“Disiplina sa kalsada ang ambag ng bawat isa para sa maayos na daloy ng trapiko. Ang maayos na transportasyon ay may malaking epekto sa ekonomiya ng bawat LGU at ng buong bansa,” he added.
Malaya stressed the road clearing and safety operation is a year-round activity that requires sustained effort and implementation.
Cross-posting of VTs
In a recent memorandum prescribing the guidelines on the conduct of validation of LGU compliance on road clearing, the DILG directed its ROs to “cross-post” VTs to ensure the impartiality of the validation process. This means that during the validation activities, VTs must not be assigned in their original LGU of assignment or residence.
VTs for component cities and municipalities may be cross-posted within their respective provinces. VTs for provinces, highly urbanized cities (HUCs), and Independent Component Cities (ICCs) may be cross-posted within the region.
For LGUs under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with a required partial implementation of road clearing, VTs will select three to 10 local roads within the LGU and assess whether road obstructions exist along or within the entirety of the selected roads. The schedule of the assessment will be determined solely by the VT. The LGUs’ compliance with the ban of tricycles on national highways shall also be checked.
Meanwhile, LGUs under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) or Post-Quarantine Scenario will be validated according to their full implementation of road clearing operations. The seven components include the removal of road obstructions, enactment of an enabling ordinance, the conduct of an inventory of road obstructions, crafting and implementation of a displacement plan, rehabilitation of cleared roads, creation of a grievance mechanism, and compliance with the ban on tricycles along national roads. The LGUs’ compliance with the ban of tricycles on national highways shall also be checked.
The DILG also enjoins LGUs to submit to the VTs as attachments to the reports, photographs, videos, presentations, reports, and other means of verifications (MOVs) that support their compliance.