DILG reminds LGUs to observe health protocols as road clearing ops resume

Robie de Guzman   •   November 16, 2020   •   340

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday reminded local government units (LGU) to observe minimum health standards as they begin their 60-day road clearing operations.

After eight months of suspension due to the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), the LGU road clearing operations will resume nationwide on Monday except for areas under modified enhanced community quarantine and those still flooded due to recent typhoons.

“The road clearing operations are needed to ensure orderliness as we revive local economies without being complacent against COVID-19. Our transition to the ‘new normal’ calls for the need to ensure that our roads remain safe, accessible, and free from illegal and potentially hazardous encroachments,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement.

“Bagaman patuloy ang serbisyo publiko at mga inisyatibo para manumbalik ang sigla ng ekonomiya, buhay at kalusugan pa rin ang pinakamahalaga. Panatilihin ang disiplina sa pagsusuot ng face mask at face shield, i-sanitize ang mga kamay at dumistansya ng isang metro sa bawat isa,” he added.

Under DILG Memorandum Circular 2020-145, the resumption of road-clearing operations will vary, in different degrees, depending on the quarantine classification of a certain area.

Areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) levels should render full implementation of road clearing operations.

Año said that full implementation includes the removal of road and sidewalk obstructions, conduct of road inventories, physical removal of road obstructions without prejudice to the property rights of the affected stakeholders, crafting and implementation of displacement plans, rehabilitation, and maintenance of cleared roads, and creation of a grievance mechanism.

Areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) will execute the partial implementation of the program, which means it is limited to the actual or physical removal or abatement of road and sidewalk obstructions that are considered hazardous to motorists and pedestrians.

These are unauthorized parked vehicles, illegal structures, nuisances, and any other structures erected along or standing on, made immovable or otherwise, that impede safe and convenient passage through public road or sidewalk. The partial implementation also includes road clearing to establish bicycle lanes.

Meanwhile, road clearing operations are suspended in areas under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) and Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

The DILG chief clarified that LGUs are not expected to conduct road clearing in villages, subdivisions, barrios, or along roads, streets, or alleys that are declared to be under localized ECQ or MECQ.

Meanwhile, DILG Spokesperson, Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said that while the pandemic is not yet over, some structures or vehicles shall be exempt from removal or apprehension by LGUs concerning the fight against COVID-19.

“Iyong mga parked ambulances at public emergency vehicles at saka checkpoints ng LGUs, Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), pulisya o militar pati na rin ang pansamantalang istruktura para sa bicycle lanes ay exempted po sa road clearing operations,” Malaya said.

Structures erected for locally stranded individuals (LSIs) shall be removed upon their return to their intended LGU destination.

He also clarified that all road closures currently set up by barangays without enabling ordinances nor approval from concerned authorities shall be dismantled and cleared to ensure unhampered public conveyance. Barangays under ECQ or MECQ may put up such road closures subject to the approval of concerned authorities.

The deadline for all barangays to submit a report on their road clearing operations conducted in November is on December 15.

Meanwhile, the validation of provincial, city and municipal compliance with the road clearing operations shall be conducted on January 18 to 22, 2021.

Among the items to be validated by the DILG Validation Teams are the tricycle route plans in their respective areas to ensure that alternate routes are provided to tricycles who are prohibited by law from operating in national highways across the country.

President Rodrigo Duterte, in his State of the Nation Address last year, ordered the DILG and LGUs to reclaim all public roads being used for private ends.

The road clearing operations were suspended in March in line with efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

PNP should not interfere with community pantry, DILG’s Año says

Robie de Guzman   •   April 20, 2021

 

Community pantry

MANILA, Philippines – Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on Tuesday said that police and local government executives should not interfere with community pantries and other similar initiatives organized by private groups.

Año issued the statement following reports that some of the community pantry organizers were being red-tagged and profiled by alleged government authorities.

The DILG chief said police and local government interference should only be limited to ensuring that health protocols are being implemented.

“Since this is a purely voluntary and private initiative, we should not interfere except to ensure that minimum health standards are complied with,” Año said.

“Hence, organizers must adhere to existing laws and local ordinances especially those issued to prevent the spread of Covid-19,” he added.

Año also clarified that he did not order the Philippine National Police (PNP) to look into the community pantries around the country.

“The community pantry has been a traditional practice in our country as part of Bayanihan culture and spirit specially in the times of calamities and disasters,” he said.

“In the spirit of Bayanihan, many Filipinos have been doing selfless acts of kindness since last year.

As long as the intention is good and without political color, it should be encouraged and supported,” he added.

As to the issue of whether organizers are required to secure barangay permits, the DILG chief said that organizers should “consult with the concerned barangays if such is required.”

“The PNP and/or local officials may just come in if there is any violation of law, if there are complaints from the community, or if the organizers seek their help,” he said.

“The LGUs, barangays and the PNP are ready to provide utmost assistance to ensure orderly distribution to the public,” he added.

DILG Sec. Año returns to work after more than 3 months in hospital

Marje Pelayo   •   April 16, 2021

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año

 

MANILA, Philippines – Secretary Eduardo Año of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is returning to work on Friday (April 16) after more than three months of hospital care.

In a statement, Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said the DILG chief already received clearance from his doctors, though it will be on a work-from-home setup until he is fully recovered.

“After more than three months of grueling struggle, including a heart operation, the Secretary is well, in high spirits, and ready to reassume his duties in the Department as well as in the National Task Force COVID-19 and in the IATF-EID,” Malaya said.

“He will start by first working from home and eventually to full normal routine,” he noted.

Malaya expressed gratitude to the public for respecting the DILG Chief’s privacy in the past few months and “for giving him the time to rest, recuperate, and fully recover.’

Supply ng COVID-19 vaccine sa Metro Manila LGUs, paubos na

Robie de Guzman   •   April 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Paubos na ang supply ng bakuna kontra COVID-19 sa ilang lokal na pamahalaan sa Metro Manila.

Ayon sa mga alkalde, kinukulang na ang supply ng kanilang bakuna sa dami ng mga nagpaparehistro para makatanggap ng COVID-19 vaccine.

Sa Quezon City, hanggang sabado na lang ang schedule ng pagbabakuna sa mga indibidwal na maaaring tumanggap ng unang dose.

Sa mahigit 300,000 nagparehistro, mahigit sa 100,000 pa lang ang nababakunahan.

Ayon kay Joseph Juico, ang pinuno ng Quezon City Task Force on COVID-19, kakaunti na lang ang natitira nilang COVID-19 vaccine at hihintayin pa nila kung kailan ulit sila mabibigyan ng national government.

“As to the exact delivery of the vaccines, just like the national government, we are still waiting for the exact time and date,” ang wika ni Juico.

Sa lungsod naman ng Maynila, nasa 2,500 Sinovac vaccines na lang ang kanilang ginagamit ngayon. Sa 300,000 nagparehistro para sa vaccination, nasa 72,000 pa lang ang natuturukan.

Ang Malabon City naman ay mayroon pang nasa 6,000 vaccine doses ngunit kulang na ito para sa mahigit 13,000 pang kailangang mabigyan ng bakuna.

Ang lokal na pamahalaan naman ng Marikina, sa Lunes na inaasahang mauubos ang hawak nilang mga bakuna. Nasa 30 porsiyento pa lang din sa mga nagparehistro online ang natuturukan.

“Paunti-unti ang dating ng bakuna. Tulad ngayon, may dumating na bakuna. Pwede nating magamit hanggang Lunes para sa isang libong indibiduwal lamang. Kulang na. Kulang na. Kulang na talaga,” ang wika ni Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro.

Una nang sinabi ng national government na ngayong buwan inaasahang darating sa bansa ang karagdagang supply ng bakuna.

Nagkakaroon umano ng delay sa delivery ng mga bakuna dahil sa isyu sa produksyon nito at pagkakaroon ng supply shortage sa ibang bansa. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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