97 mayors fail to meet Duterte's road clearing deadline

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – At least 97 mayors nationwide failed to comply with President Rodrigo Duterte's order to clear main thoroughfares in their areas within 60 days, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) announced on Friday, October 11.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the mayors are set to receive show cause orders, ordering them to explain why they failed to follow the clearing order. If their explanation does not satisfy the DILG or if they do not reply at all, they can face administrative charges such as dereliction of duty and negligence.

None of the 97 mayors are from Metro Manila, he added. 

What order? During his 2019 State of the Nation Address on July 22, Duterte gave mayors 60 days, or until September 29, to "reclaim all public roads that are being used for private ends." (READ: Duterte's Metro Manila traffic solution? Reclaim public roads)

Since the President issued the order, the DILG has been inspecting roads nationwide giving each local government their ratings. The DILG found that in total, mayors nationwide cleared 6,899 roads of obstruction. 

The point system: The DILG used a 4-tier rating system to evaluate the mayors based on the percentage of primary and secondary roads that they have cleared.

Only those who failed to compy would be served show cause orders, but mayors with low compliance would get a visit from the DILG so they can explain their low scores. 

This is not the end: Año said over 300 local government units , mostly in Mindanao, have yet to be evaluated. 

He added that the DILG will evaluate the LGUs quarterly so that the road-clearing efforts would be sustained. Their next goal is to extend the clearing operations to smaller roads and streets.  

"We have to sustain this, and in fact, we need to return to them, because there are unruly mayors who after clearing allow for obstructions to return," Año said in a mix of English and Filipino. – Rappler.com

 

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

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