Cordillera provinces clear roads as deadline nears

BAGUIO CITY — Local government units in the Cordillera Administrative Region work double-time to clear primary and secondary roads of obstruction as the 60-day deadline set by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) nears.

DILG-Cordillera regional director Marlo Iringan said LGUs took advantage of Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte’s order to reclaim public roads, which they were not able to do in the past due to various reasons.

“There is a good response from the LGUs now that they have the reason to make people comply,” Iringan said in an interview Monday.

The LGUs are required to submit regular accomplishments for consolidation and submission to the Office of the President on or before October 11.

In his State-of-the-Nation Address last July, Duterte gave ordered LGUs to reclaim roads used for private use. Deadline to comply is September 29.

Iringan said LGUs not able to comply 100 percent would be made to explain and if deemed unacceptable, possibly meted with a penalty.
In Benguet’s capital town of La Trinidad, Mayor Romeo Salda asked the cooperation of establishment owners to self-demolish structures that obstruct roads and sidewalks.

Demolition operations were already carried out in Ambiong, Puguis and along Km 6.

Salda said there was not much resistance among those affected as they see it coming with the order issued directly by the President.

In Baguio, aside from the clearing of sidewalks that started from the time Mayor Benjamin Magalong assumed office on June 30, demolition of structures along Marcos Highway started on September 19.

DILG-Baguio officer Evelyn Cayat said a total of 267 structures were found in violation of the 30-meter road right of way from the center of national roads like Marcos Highway.

The same will be done at the Baguio portion of Kennon Road and Naguilian Road — the major arteries leading to the city.

In Abra, clearing operations continue with Acting Mayor Joaquin “Kiko” Bernos saying that clearing teams have removed structures along provincial and national roads, such as waiting sheds, concrete fences, and illegally parked vehicles.

In Tabuk City, Kalinga, a validation team composed of the DILG, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Philippine Information Agency and the provincial government have started checking on the compliance and accomplishments of LGUs in the province on Monday (Sept. 23).

Peter Balocnit, PIA-Kalinga information center manager, said the team would look into displacement strategies and activities done to reclaim and rehabilitate cleared roads, impact observations and sustainability mechanisms.

In Lagawe, Ifugao, a private terminal was opened for public use to cater to the needs of the transport sectors and commuters. It will be used as a loading and unloading area of vehicles, both public and private.

Marcelo Lighawon, PIA-Ifugao information center manager, said the Lagawe terminal located at Poblacion South was opened for public utility jeeps, vans, and mini-buses bound for the municipalities of Tinoc, Asipulo, Mayoyao, and Aguinaldo, to Solano, Nueva Vizcaya, Maddela, Quirino and Baguio City.

It has unloading spaces, waiting shed with benches, pay restrooms, restaurant and snacks stall, street food corner, water system, and CCTV cameras. Liza Agoot / PNA –