Manila, San Juan LGU workers to work only ‘til half-day on Dec. 23

Robie de Guzman   •   December 23, 2019   •   903

MANILA, Philippines – The governments of Manila and San Juan cities have declared that workers in their respective local offices will only render half-day work on Monday, December 23, in line with the holiday season.

“Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno declares half-day work for all local government offices today, December 23,” the Manila Public Information said in an advisory posted on Twitter.

San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora, meanwhile, posted a memorandum on his Twitter account which states his order for city hall employees to work only until 12 noon.

“Work in San Juan City Hall for today will be half-day, until 12nn, in order for our employees to have more time to spend with their families. For everyone’s guidance and reference,” he said.

However, local agencies in San Juan involved in the delivery of disaster response, basic health services, and other vital services were ordered to continue operations.

DILG reminds LGUs: Validation of road clearing ops to start Feb. 16

Robie de Guzman   •   February 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has reminded local government units that the validation of their road clearing operations will start on Tuesday, February 16 following its deadline on Monday.

The DILG said that for LGUs under general community quarantine (GCQ) with a required partial implementation of road clearing, validation teams will select three to 10 local roads within the LGU and assess whether road obstructions exist along or within the entirety of the selected roads.

The schedule of the assessment will be determined solely by the validation teams.

LGUs under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) will be validated according to their full implementation of road clearing operations.

The seven components include the removal of road obstructions, enactment of an enabling ordinance, the conduct of an inventory of road obstructions, crafting and implementation of a displacement plan, rehabilitation of cleared roads, creation of a grievance mechanism, and compliance with the ban on tricycles along national roads.

“The LGUs’ compliance with the ban of tricycles on national highways shall also be checked,” the department added.

The DILG has enjoined LGUs to submit as attachments to the reports, photographs, videos, presentations, reports, and other means of verifications (MOVs) that support their compliance.

DILG officer-in-charge, Undersecretary Bernardo Florece, Jr. said the validation period is until March 2 for all provinces, cities and municipalities.

All DILG regional offices, on the other hand, have until March 9 to submit their respective compliance data and forms as well as attachments to the DILG Central Office – Bureau of Local Government Supervision (BLGS).

The department, through the BLGS, will ensure that all LGUs will adhere to the principles of road clearing, even beyond the validation period making it a whole-year-round program.

Florece assured that the DILG will be fair in the road-clearing validation but will point out the deficiencies so that this can be immediately acted upon by concerned LGUs.

“One of the strategies that we will adopt is that once a road is cleared by the LGU, a contract is drawn up and signed by the barangay captain who then is now responsible for maintaining the cleared roads,” he said in a statement.

“There will also be an exit conference with the mayor so that he is advised of the results of the validation,” he added.

Florece also reminded LGUs to place no-parking signs and other visual cues in cleared roads to discourage people from parking or placing obstructions on roads again.

The DILG official acknowledged that with the expected arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines, LGUs may have their hands full but he nonetheless challenges them to comply with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to clear public roads. 

“Nais po nating makita ang tagumpay ng road clearing operations sa buong bansa ngunit ayaw rin nating maantala ang rollout ng vaccine kaya’t dapat galingan ng ating mga mayor,” he said.

Meanwhile, DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya urged LGUs to include the promotion of road discipline and education in line with the conduct of their road clearing operations.

“Hindi po dapat nagtatapos ang ating trabaho sa road clearing operations. Sa panahong ang mga kalsada sa buong bansa ay naibalik na sa publiko, responsibilidad din po nating panatiliin itong ligtas,” he said.

“Disiplina sa kalsada ang ambag ng bawat isa para sa maayos na daloy ng trapiko. Ang maayos na transportasyon ay may malaking epekto sa ekonomiya ng bawat LGU at ng buong bansa,” he added.

Malaya stressed the road clearing and safety operation is a year-round activity that requires sustained effort and implementation.

Bus operators call for reopening of provincial borders

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Provincial bus operators are calling on local government units (LGUs) to open their borders and allow the entry of buses from Metro Manila.

Provincial Bus Operators Association president, Alex Yague expressed alarm over passengers resorting to colorum vehicles offering services online.

The group is appealing to the local governments of Pangasinan, Quezon Province, Tarlac, and Bicol region allow the operation of provincial buses coming from Metro Manila.

The group also vowed to follow health safety protocols to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection.

“Buksan na nila ang kanilang probinsya at nangangako kaming mga operators dito sa mga probinsyang ito na kung anuman ang mga safety protocols na kailangang ipatupad ay willing kaming sundin lahat ng safety protocols (We are appealing to these provinces to open their borders and we promise to comply with the safety protocols implemented in their areas),” Yague said.

At the Araneta City Bus Terminal in Cubao, only trips bound for San Fernando and Dau, Pampanga were available.  There were also only few passengers.

According Araneta City Bus Terminal general manager, Mon Legaspi, there are a lot of colorum vehicles within the vicinity of Araneta, Cubao that are taking advantage of the situation and drawing in passengers that flock to the area.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said their anti-colorum operations are still active especially in the regions. However, the agency laments the lack of personnel to effectively end the illegal operation.

The LTFRB also said that once the LGUs agree to open their borders, the agency will reopen 50 percent of the bus routes that existed prior to the pandemic. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

LGUs conduct dry run of COVID-19 vaccination rollout

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The local governments of Quezon City and Valenzuela City have conducted dry run activities for their COVID-19 vaccination rollout.

In Valenzuela City, around 40 residents participated in the dry run, where they went through body temperature checks and disinfection before entering the vaccination site.

They also went through registration and validation before counseling. Counseling covered discussion on the importance of vaccination and its possible side effects. Participants then proceeded to the screening area before vaccination to verify if their health is capable of taking in the vaccine.

According to Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian, the dry run is needed to ensure residents are prepared in receiving the vaccines and health protocols are implemented.

Valenzuela City also targets the vaccination rollout to begin in July where 17 vaccination sites will be used.

Meanwhile, the Quezon City Health Department held a demonstration on the vaccination process which includes presenting QCitizen IDs, counseling, and screening. -AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

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