CLEARED OF OBSTRUCTIONS. Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia (right), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)-Bacolod City Director Ma. Joy Maredith Madayag (center), and City Engineer Belly Aguillon on Monday (Jan. 13, 2020) discuss the initiatives of the city government for the improvement and maintenance of the roads cleared of obstructions. The city government has allocated PHP150 million to improve the cleared roads, particularly major thoroughfares, in the first quarter of the year. (PNA photo by Nanette L. Guadalquiver)
BACOLOD CITY — The city government here has set aside PHP150 million for the improvement of roads cleared of obstructions during the 60 days prescribed by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) last year.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia on Monday said officials considered to include an allocation for the city’s compliance with the DILG Memorandum Circular 2019-121 during the deliberations for this year’s annual budget.
“In MC 121, it is stated that we need to have a program to rehabilitate the cleared areas,” the mayor said in a press conference on Monday.
Secretary Eduardo Año issued MC 121-2019 to comply with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to “return to public use, all public roads and sidewalks that have been appropriated for private use”.
City Engineer Belly Aguillon said the City Engineer’s Office (CEO) has already identified the areas considered as reclaimed and subject for improvement.
“We are now finalizing the program of works. Once the mayor signs these documents, we will schedule the bidding. We can start within the first quarter,” she said.
Aguillon said that since PHP150 million is not sufficient to improve all the cleared roads, those that will be prioritized are the main thoroughfares.
Further clearing of these roads are included in the program of works to restore the identified areas for public use, she added.
Based on latest figures, a total of 11,517 illegal structures have been identified in the city’s 61 barangays, of which 9,966 have been cleared.
The remaining 1,551 include private properties and areas occupied by residents seeking housing assistance.
The DILG validation report as of Oct. 18, 2019 showed that Bacolod obtained a compliance rating of 87 percent in the 60-day road clearing operations.
“Let our 2019 performance be our inspiration to sustain our performance this 2020,” said Leonardia as he urged barangay officials of their accountability in terms of compliance with the road clearing directive.
DILG-Bacolod City Director Ma. Joy Maredith Madayag echoed the mayor’s call.
“We support the statement of the mayor. We really emphasize the responsibility of the barangays. The mayor has direct supervision over the barangays. It is clear that the punong barangays are primarily responsible for the maintenance and sustainability of the cleared roads,” she added.
This year, the DILG requires the submission of reports on road-clearing operations every month, which is due every last Friday of each month. (PNA)
Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency