With all the ten LGUs complying, the province has 100 percent compliance rate. LGUs are rated with high compliance if 91-100% of their primary and secondary were cleared as validated by a validation team led by DILG.
In the province, DILG Provincial Director Anthony Manolo Ballug led the Provincial Validation Team composed of Mountain Province Police Provincial Office (MPPPO), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Bureau of Fire Protection and the Philippine Information Agency.
The team focused their validation on five major areas - the presence of municipal ordinance on road clearing and banning of illegal constructions; presence of inventory of national, provincial, municipal and barangay roads; roads (including sidewalks) are cleared of obstruction, illegal structures, and illegally parked vehicles; implementation of displacement strategies (if any or applicable), and the rehabilitation of recovered public roads (to include greening and beautification).
During the validation, the concerned municipal monitoring team and some local officials and department heads of the municipal offices joined the provincial validation team.
Common obstructions which LGUs were faced with and have to clear were aggregates and junked vehicles along the road and structures that encroached along the road or sidewalks .There were also some electric posts that encroached along the road and the sidewalks.
For the illegally parked vehicles, n the municipalities of Bauko and Paracelis, the chief executives authorized their local policemen to issue tickets and confiscate plate numbers .
In the municipalities of Barlig, Besao, Sagada, Sadanga and Sabangan, the representatives from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) issued tickets and confiscated plate numbers of illegally parked vehicles, motors and tricycles.
In the capital town of Bontoc, representatives from LTO, HPG and the Bontoc Traffic Task Force issued tickets and confiscated plate numbers of illegally vehicles, motors and tricycles.
Personnel of the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office, the Bontoc Water District and PNP helped in the clearing of road obstructions such as aggregates, steel, mixer, and stones along the roads.
After the road clearing validation in each of the municipality was the conduct of an exit conference where Ballug explained that the road clearing activities do not mean that it will end after September 30 as this is just the deadline the DILG has given in its Memorandum Circular No. 2019-121 for mayors to comply with the presidential directive . Road clearing is not only on roads but it includes sidewalks, widening blocks and shoulders. Anything that is put on these is illegal.
“I hope this is not a ningas cogon, hopefully the cleared roads will be sustained. This will be the primary responsibility of the organized Municipal Monitoring Team to conduct regular monitoring to sustain the road clearing activities,” Ballug said.
He also asked the local municipal police stations to sustain the monitoring. This should become a routinary patrol on their part until such time the information will sink in the minds of the people.
The responsibility of barangay officials is also to monitor roads in their area of responsibility. We should all participate in this endeavor, he added.
Ballug suggested to all the LGUs to amend their traffic code to include roads management which can be titled as traffic and roads management ordinance. He also suggested to include in their ordinance an impounding area where they will put vehicles that are confiscated; parking area; flow of traffic; route plan; designated events area or market area to accommodate small vendors not on the road because roads are not meant for business; a 10-minute or 15-minute emergency parking for loading or unloading and it should not go beyond 15 minutes; road clearing; road safety; and provisions on no encroachment of sidewalks for business purposes, no encroachment of roads for structures, and provision of displacement even if it is not applicable at the moment; then the penalties.
“Our enemy in road clearing and other clearing activities is the attitude of the people, it is not really the vehicles or the obstructions. Our immediate goal is to clear the road and our ultimate goal is to instill discipline in our people’’ Ballug said.
Interviewed residents are thankful to President Duterte for directing the local governments nationwide to clear the roads.
” Now, we have clear roads. Vehicles, motors and tricycles are no longer allowed to park on the road and vendors are not allowed to sell their goods at the sidewalks. We hope that this will be sustained not just for a short period,” they said. (JDP/JBS-PIA Mt. Province)
By Juliet B. Saley