DILG lowers boom on 2 mayors over street clearing issue

February 28, 2020
Eduardo Año

THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) yesterday announced the filing of charges against two mayors for failing President Duterte’s order to clear roads of illegal obstructions.

Secretary Eduardo Año did not name  the two mayors but said they are from the towns of Boliney in Abra and Motiong in Samar.    

The two are now facing administrative cases for gross neglect of duty and grave misconduct before the Ombudsman.

According to Año, the government meant business when it warned of cases against negligent local executives who take orders lightly or do nothing at all.

“Unless local chief executives get their act together and take the President’s instructions to clear roads seriously, they will be held accountable and face charges,” he said. The DILG said this is the second batch of cases filed before the Office of the Ombudsman after the two local chief executives (LCEs) failed to satisfactorily respond to the show cause orders issued by the Department and were among those who obtained the lowest scores in the validation and assessment conducted by the Department.

During the assessment and inspection of the validating team in Motiong, nine roads have been found with illegally parked vehicles, barangay structures, store encroachments, shanties, garbage dumps, canal obstructions, plants and construction materials as obstructions.

On the other hand, the validating team found out that the municipality of Boliney failed to present an inventory of the provincial, municipal and barangay roads in their area.  An identified provincial road was also found with extended canopies as obstructions.

Aside from that, both LGUs also failed to come up with any rehabilitation and sustainability plans or set up a grievance and feedback mechanism on clearing of road obstructions.

“The Municipalities of Motiong and Boliney obtained a total score of not more than 50 points in the indicators set by the DILG.  Such score translated to their glaring failure to follow the rule of law that public streets are for public use,” the DILG chief said.

In October last year, the DILG issued show cause orders to 97 LGUs across the country demanding their explanation for their non-compliance with the DILG’s directive based on the assessment and validation conducted by the Department.

“More cases will be filed as soon as our lawyers have finished reviewing the validation reports and the corresponding answers by the mayors,” he vowed.

DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that the road clearing operations will continue as the Department recently gave a 75-calendar-day deadline to clear not just national primary and secondary roads, but also local roads.

“With Road Clearing 2.0, we will now also validate the performance of barangay captains in keeping their roads obstruction-free.  Kaya kailangang kumilos at magsipag na rin ang ating mga barangay,” he said.