LAOAG CITY—The relatively new government-owned ‘Pasalubong Center’ or souvenir store which houses items for tourists visiting the city has been demolished by the Department of Public Works and Highways as it was located within the sidewalk of the Laoag City Public Market.
The Pasalubong Center built during the time of former mayor Chevylle Fariñas is among the commercial establishments downtown that must be demolished to clear all road obstructions as directed by the Duterte administration to be implemented nationwide.
“We can not do anything but to follow the directive of the President,” said District Engineer Ma. Venus Torio of the First Engineering District of Ilocos Norte Thursday.
City Mayor Michael Marcos Keon said there had been no proper zoning laws in Laoag and the road clearing has affected a lot of people.
“We must follow the President’s order. Laoag City has lost so much business because of the road clearing which causes many problems but my hands are tied. I am sorry but this has to be this way because in the past, people, were able to build businesses anywhere and everywhere,” said Keon citing some business owners are moving out of Laoag due to the intensified road clearing operations that has been reported to be extended for another 75 days.
Keon, however, assured the government’s Pasalubong Center will be relocated at the Aurora Park right at the heart of the city.
Last July 29, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued a memorandum circular directing all mayors to reclaim all primary and secondary roads in their areas by clearing these of obstructions within 60 days.
The deadline expired on Sept. 29.
According to the DILG, the government plans to extend the nationwide road clearing operations by 75 days to maintain what it was able to achieve in the 60-day cleanup campaign. Leilanie Adriano / PNA – northboundasia.com