ROAD-CLEARING INSPECTION. Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Epimaco Densing (right) and Mayor Edgardo Labella (second from right) lead the inspection of Colon Street, one of the busiest public roads in Cebu City on Monday (Sept. 30, 2019). Densing said he was impressed by the city’s road-clearing accomplishments. (Photo by Luel Galarpe)
CEBU CITY – National and regional officials of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) went around Cebu City on Monday to inspect whether public roads in the metropolis have been cleared of sidewalk vendors and obstructions.
DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing, who led the inspection team, said he was impressed by what he has initially seen.
“Upon my arrival here, I really wanted to see if it’s really true that Cebu City is now clean. Since I was a kid, being a Cebuano myself, the streets have been occupied by a lot of ambulant vendors. And by what I’ve seen initially, I’m very impressed,” Densing said in mixed Cebuano.
The DILG official said he is also impressed by how Mayor Edgardo Labella was able to handle transferring the sidewalk vendors to a more convenient place where they can earn a decent living.
Earlier, Mayor Labella provided a relocation site for affected sidewalk vendors at the back of the Cebu City Hall.
“Because of the relocation, the sidewalks won’t be crowded anymore and pedestrians can now walk the streets with no hassle. So far, so good, but I need to see some more areas,” Densing said.
According to him, the validating team will make a final decision whether the Cebu City mayor was able to do his road-clearing job as ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte.
“As of today, I cannot make a declaration. It will depend on the assessment to be made by the validation team,” he said.
The validation team is composed of representatives from the DILG, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, civil society organizations, and non-government organizations.
Densing said the validation team will file its report on or before October 5.
“It is only then that we can really say that Mayor Labella substantially was able to do his job in the clearing operations in the sidewalks and streets,” he said.
Labella, who accompanied Densing during the inspection, said he is grateful for the DILG undersecretary’s objective appraisal or evaluation of his performance.
“What’s important now is to see to it that we can sustain this. We can continue to have the streets cleared of obstructions and, of course, I also trust our Cebuano people that this is for the good of everybody,” the mayor said. Luel Galarpe September/PNA- northboundasia.com