Farmers told not to use nat’l roads to dry palay

ILOILO CITY — The Department of Public Works and Highways in Western Visayas (DPWH-6) is reminding farmers not to dry palay and other farm produce on national roads, especially during this harvest season.

In an interview Wednesday, Vivian Tan, information officer of DPWH-6, said they have reiterated the order to the various district engineering offices in the region for its strict enforcement and monitoring.

The banning of drying palay and other farm produce on national roads is pursuant to Section 23 of Presidential Decree (PD) No. 17 to safeguard motorists from any accident.

Under the PD, it is unlawful for any person to usurp any portion of a right-of-way or to convert any part of the public highway, bridge, wharf or trail to his own private use.

“Drying of palay and other farm produce causes obstruction on the road and in other areas. There are already recorded accidents because of that. So, we want to ensure the safety of our motorists here in our region,” she said.

Tan said they have designated personnel under the maintenance section to focus on the implementation of the order.

“If we receive reports from concerned citizens, we immediately alert our engineers to inspect the area and encourage the persons responsible to remove their palay on the national road,” she said.

A notice of obstruction to the persons responsible of drying palay on roads will be served if they are caught.

Tan added that they will also impose a fine of not more than PHP1,000 or an imprisonment not exceeding six months to those who have committed the offense for the third time.

Meantime, Tan also encouraged local government units in the region to take part in the enforcement of the order.

“They have the power to oversee the provincial and municipal roads because we only have jurisdiction on national roads,” she said.

She urged the public, especially farmers, to cooperate to prevent accidents and obstructing motorists. Cindy Ferrer/