Gov’t to demolish structures on Marcos Highway

BAGUIO CITY— A total of 30 out of 273 structures will be demolished as part of the initial implementation of the road clearing on Marcos highway, an official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government-Cordillera Administrative Region (DILG-CAR) said on Wednesday.

“The demolition on Thursday is already a go,” DILG-CAR regional director Marlo Iringan said during an inspection of the structures on the major thoroughfare.

He said the road clearing is part of compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s order during his 4th State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July.

The order was followed by a circular from DILG Secretary Eduardo Año, which gives LGUs 60 days to clear roads within their jurisdiction of any forms of obstructions. The deadline will be on September 29.

Iringan said a pre-demolition conference was set Wednesday afternoon to inform the owners of the establishments of the demolition on Thursday.

Base on the inventory and assessment of Department of Public Works and Highways Baguio District Engineering Office (DPWH-BCDEO), a total of 273 structures are in violation of the 30 meters road right of way (RROW) for national roads like Marcos Highway. The measurement is from the center of the road.

In a meeting prior to the inspection, Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the DPWH has confirmed that an initial 30 structures are due for demolition starting Thursday.

They have complied with the procedural requirement such as properly informing the owner of the violation and a notice of demolition properly received, Magalong said.

The other 273 structures up for demolition are still undergoing the procedural process.

Magalong urged the DPWH to fast-track the notification of the violators of the RROW on other national highways like Naguillian Road and Kennon Road.

“We have to do this now. We should send a strong message that we are serious in implementing the President’s order to clear the roads of obstruction for public purpose and to reclaim those which are being used by anybody,” the mayor said.

Iringan said CAR LGUs are taking advantage of the President’s order to get back public roads, which they were unable to do in the past years due to several reasons.

“There is a good response from the LGUs now that they have the reason to make people comply,” he said.

He said LGUs have been required to submit regular accomplishments, which the DILG will consolidate and submit to the Office of the President on or before October 11.

Iringan said LGUs that will not be able to do a 100 percent compliance will be made to explain and if an unacceptable, possible penalty will be meted them.  Liza Agoot / PNA –