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Cabinet to discuss final decision on Boracay closure

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, April 4th, 2018

BORACAY ISLAND, one of the most visited destinations in the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines — The  Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and Department of Tourism (DOT) have already submitted to Malacañang the detailed proposal in the closure of Boracay Island starting on April 26.

The said recommendation of the inter-agency task force aims to give way to the extensive clean-up drive on the island.

Through a text message, Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra stated that the final action on Boracay would be likely discussed at Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting.

As for the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the agency believes it would best if its closure would just take place during lean months or low season.

In this way, the establishments or workers on the island would not be severely affected.

“Una, nirekomenda namin na simulan ito sa lean months. Ibig sabihin, magkakaroon talaga ng pagbaba sa empleyo—ang mga seasonal employment sa lugar. Ikalawa, nirerekomenda namin na ang bilang nga mga manggagawang ito sila ang maaaring isama sa paglilinis,” said NEDA Usec. Rosemarie Edillon.

(Firstly, we are recommending to start this in the lean season. That means there will be a drop in the employment—the seasonal employment in the area. Number two, we are also recommending that these workers be involved in the clean-up drive.)

Meanwhile, the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) and Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) Region 6 has begun  creating a contingency plan for the forthcoming shut down of the island.

Dir. Jose Roberto Nuñez said they are already preparing for the mitigation plans to whatever would be the outcome of the interagency’s recommendation on the Boracay closure.

“If the president will say, ‘I will totally close that,’ if ever, then meron na tayong preparation (we would already have some preparation),” said the director.

“We could mitigate ang effect niya sa (its effect on) livelihood sa (on the) business sector,” said RPOC chair Gov. Samuel Gumar

If the island would be totally shut down, 79,182 individuals and over 36,000 jobs might get affected.

This is apart from the million peso revenues in the island that has been gone. — Robbie De Guzman | UNTV News & Rescue

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DILG eyes private roads as alternative routes during rush hour

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

The Department of the Interior of Local Government (DILG) is eyeing private roads as alternative routes during rush hour.

President Rodrigo Duterte mentioned the severe traffic problem especially in Metro Manila during his fourth state of the nation address (SONA).

He also ordered the DILG and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to resolve the problem.

The DILG and MMDA will meet the 17 mayors in Metro Manila in response to the president’s directive.

According to DILG Secretary Eduardo Año, they will look into using subdivisions as alternative routes.

“Maraming subdivision na ayaw ipagamit iyong kalsada nila pero pwedeng secondary roads iyan, kahit during rush hours lang, titignan natin iyan, (There are a lot of subdivisions that do not want their roads to be used but they can be secondary roads even just during rush hour),” he said.

DILG will also look into traffic ordinance enforced in several cities in Metro Manila that are not anchored in MMDA’s policies.

Meanwhile the Department of Transportation (Dotr) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) support Duterte’s directive to resolve the traffic problem.

However both departments said resolving right of way issues is a challenge. They said this is one of the primary reasons why several projects that aim to ease traffic have been delayed.

“We try to be fair to everyone but of course we have to look at the overall benefit. Of course we have to do our best to prioritize what will help the most number of people,” according to DPWH Secretary Mark Villar.—AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

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DILG to meet with local execs on clearing of public roads

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

Divisoria | Courtesy: JD Palero

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Tuesday said it is planning to meet with local officials this week to discuss clearing operations on roads being used for private purposes.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the move is in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to reclaim thoroughfares that are being used for private ends to ease traffic congestion in the country.

Duterte in his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday directed Año to suspend mayors and governors refusing to clear public roads and ordered its recovery as public property by local officials.

“I reiterate my directive, my request, my pleadings to the MMDA and all concerned local officials in Metro Manila, and all other cities, to undertake immediate action to ensure the speedy and smooth flow of vehicular traffic. Reclaim all public roads that are being used for private ends,” the president said in his speech at the opening of a joint session of the 18th Congress at the Batasang Pambansa complex in Quezon City.

Duterte cited a study which pegs the country’s daily economic losses at P3.5 billion because of road congestion, particularly in Metro Manila.

In response to the president’s order, Año said his agency is looking to create an inventory of roads used as parking areas and bazaars, like those in the Divisoria shopping district in Manila.

He is also eyeing to review and repeal local traffic ordinances that run against the traffic law policies of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and are not effective in addressing traffic woes.

Año added he is also looking to strike a deal to open certain roads of some private subdivisions during rush hour to ease traffic in major thoroughfares.

“Maraming subdivision na ayaw ipagamit ‘yung kalsada nila, pero puwedeng secondary roads yan eh, kahit during rush hours lang. Titingnan natin ‘yan,” he said.

(There are some subdivisions that refuse to open their roads that may be used as secondary roads during rush hours. We will look into it.)

The DILG chief also plans to inspect secondary roads that may serve as alternative routes. He is also eyeing to intensify local anti-illegal parking campaign and clearing operations to remove road obstructions particularly in Metro Manila.

“Kayang-kaya naman paluwagin ‘yang mga kalsada na ‘yan. So, mag-uusap yung MMDA, ‘yung 17 mayors ng NCR para gumawa tayo ng isang siguradong plano na implementable to ease traffic,” he said.

Duterte’s directive for the DILG to clear public roads comes after he stated that he wanted to make the trip between Cubao in Quezon City to Makati possible in five minutes this year. (with details from Joan Nano)

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DILG pushes for random drug testing for newly elected government officials

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, July 18th, 2019

Urine drug screening of drug surrenders and local officers in Poblacion,Malita Davao (February 22, 2017) | Courtesy: Cerilo Ebrano / PVI

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will push for random drug testing of newly elected government officials.

According to DILG Secretary Eduardo Año the random drug test will be conducted regularly to ensure that government officials are following the law.

“Para hindi masayang iyong ibinoto ng mga tao natin, (this is so that our votes are not wasted),” he said.

Based on the data of the DILG, there are over 17,000 newly elected officials during the last May elections.

Among the 17,000, there are 37 of them included in the narcolist. The 27 re-elected will have their deputation for police power revoked and their Ombudsman cases will also push through.

“Iyong mga barangay captains titingnan din namin iyong nasa listahan din. Ito wala namang police deputation pero sasampahan namin ng administrative cases and eventually criminal cases, (We will also look into the barangay captains included in the list. They have no police deputation but we will file administrative cases and eventually criminal cases)” Año said.—AAC (with reports from Marisol Montaño)

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