February 25, 2024

The accountability of barangay officials will be greater when the Department of the Interior and Local Government implements the second round of road clearing operations.
DILG Sec. Eduardo Año said the second batch of the road clearing program will concentrate on ridding barangay roads of obstructions.
Año, who was in Baguio recently, said the DILG will execute another 75-day road clearing program. The date of the implementation however is not definite as the agency is yet to craft a directive for the purpose.
He said this time, punong barangays will be the ones who will be held accountable if they fail to comply with the road clearing program, which the DILG is spearheading in compliance with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte for all local government units in the country to reclaim public roads that have been encroached upon by private individuals and establishments.
“We will embark on another 75 days road clearing operations and this time; we are going to focus on tertiary roads or barangay roads para maayos natin ‘yung parking areas sa mga residential and barangay roads. This time, we will concentrate on the accountabilities of the barangay captains,” Año said.
The first batch of clearing operations, which gave LGUs 60 days to rid roads under their jurisdiction of illegal structures and obstructions, ended in Sept. 29, 2019.
The DILG has filed administrative cases against 10 mayors who failed to comply with the directive spelled out in Memorandum Circular 2019-121, which ordered them “to use all their powers under the law to reclaim public roads being used for private ends.”
No mayor in the Cordillera has been charged so far under the first batch of cases filed by the DILG before the ombudsman.
Año upheld the report that Cordillera is among the regions with the slightest number of LGUs that failed to comply with the anti-road obstruction program.
“Minimal lang ang (nag-fail) sa Cordillera. Most of the LGUs that failed are in the Visayas and Mindanao,” he said.
The DILG-Cordillera has earlier reported that only three LGUs in the region earned “failing” grades – Boliney and Manabo in Abra and Banaue, Ifugao.
LGUs that gained failing marks were ordered to explain the circumstances behind their failure and were given time to improve their compliance or implement measures such as the passage or revisiting of ordinances related to road clearing or ban on illegal construction or crafting of rehabilitation plans of recovered public roads.
Those that failed to convince the DILG or failed to initiate measures to reclaim public roads were sued for gross neglect of duty and grave misconduct. – Jane B. Cadalig