Marikina completes road clean-up ahead of 60-day deadline; QC clears 80 barangays so far

Maris Federez   •   August 16, 2019   •   888

Even before the 60-day deadline set by the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Marikina City has cleared 100 percent of the streets and sidewalks in the city.

“Ang ginagawa ng Marikina ngayon ay maintenance na.  Based on the assesment sa compliance team ng DILG sa Marikina complied na ang Marikina at tapos na ang Marikina sa clearing of sidewalks and road ways [What Marikina is doing now is maintenance. Based on the assessment of the DILG compliance team, Marikina has complied with the clearing of sidewalks and road ways],” Mayor Marcy Teodoro said.

The DILG ordered the local government to submit a report stating the measures they took to clear the roads and sidewalks.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Ano said that what the Marikina City is doing, and even what it has done in the past, is worth emulating.

“Ang maganda sa Marikina paglabas mo ng bangketa hindi na sayo yan, pagaari na ng publiko yan kaya walang hari ng bangketa dun.  Kaya dapat masundan natin ginawa ng Marikina [What is great about Marikina is that once you step out to the sidewalk, it’s not part of your property anymore. It’s owned by the public so no one can be a bully and own it. So we really need to follow what Marikina has done],” Ano added.

Meanwhile, the Quezon City government has cleaned up 80 barangays in the past three weeks since the DILG ordered it.

QC mayor Joy Belmonte said it was a tall order for them to maintain the roads and the sidewalks free from obstruction.

To address this, the local government will implement a stricter policy against illegal parking.

“Mag pi-print tayo ng maraming violation tickets. Tiket lang ng ticket. Tingin ko that is a good solution para masanay sila. Kung magviolate sila ng mag violate eh seryoso tayo ipenalized sila. [We will print many violation tickets. We will issue tickets left and right. I think that is a good solution for them to get used to it. If they will violate repeatedly, we will show them we are serious to penalize them], Belmonte said.

“Nagpabili na rin ako ng maraming wheel clamping devices para mag wheel clamping na tayo [I have also ordered to purchase as many wheel-clamping devices so we can already do wheel clamping (on vehicles)],” she added.

As she promised last week, the QC government demolished the barangay hall of Damayang Lagi in a clearing operation conducted on Friday, together with the DILG and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

Dmayang Lagi officials are now temporarily holding office at an improvised container van.

Belmonte said they still need to demolish 17 more barangay halls in the entire city to decongest the streets.

The group also destroyed a police traffic sector in Balintawak as it causes traffic congestion in the area.

The DILG will once again meet with the metro mayors for the assessment of their clearing operations and identify areas that are yet to be developed by the local governments. (from the report of Joan Nano) /mbmf

QC gov’t moves ban on single-use plastics in restos, hotels to July 1

Robie de Guzman   •   February 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City government on Friday (February 21), said it has moved to July 1 the implementation of its ordinance banning the use of single-use or disposable plastics in restaurants and hotels in the city.

In a statement, Mayor Joy Belmonte said the deferment of the ban’s enforcement is to give restaurants and hotels more time to adjust their dine-in logistics in compliance with the policy.

Ordinance No. SP-2876, S-2019 was supposed to be implemented on February 15 but it was moved in consideration of concerns surrounding logistics, safety and hygiene, requirements and other issues involving day-to-day operations.

“We understand the situation and concerns of the establishments so we will give them ample time to comply,” Belmonte said.

The postponement of the ban’s implementation was recommended by the city’s Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department (EPWMD) following a series of dialogues with stakeholders, including restaurants, fast-food chains, and hotels.

EPWMD head Andrea Villaroman said the policy’s enforcement was deferred, provided that stakeholders would come up with a transition plan detailing concrete steps to be undertaken to comply with the said regulation.

The plan, which will be submitted within 30 days from February 15, will include the introduction of recovery and recycling mechanisms for single-use plastics/disposable materials.

“The transition plan should also cover the hotel and restaurants’ amenities indicating the hotel’s and restaurant’s timeline for procurement and attaching the industry standards and hotel/restaurant international regulations as justification for the amenities without alternatives due to sanitation concerns,” Villaroman said.

“It shall also include additional details on single-use plastic/disposable materials used by restaurants/hotels for hygienic and food safety purposes and its appropriate recovery/recycling mechanisms,” she added.

Ordinance No. 2876 prohibits the distribution and/or use of single-use plastics/disposable materials, including cutlery for dine-in purposes, in all hotels and restaurants in Quezon City.

The ban covers the use of throw-away plates, spoons, forks, cups, and other plastic and paper disposables.

The EPWMD also said it is coordinating with the Philippine Alliance for Recycling and Materials Sustainability (PARMS) to develop the recovery and recycling mechanisms for residual plastics and disposable materials, which can address those single-use wastes not covered by the Ordinance.

The Quezon City government on January 1 started the implementation of the Plastic Bag Ban Ordinance, which is now mostly being followed by establishments.

Villaroman said personnel of EPWMD’s Climate Change team will be deputized to issue notices of violation or environmental violation tickets.

DILG says cops on ‘narco-list’ who opted to retire early not spared from probe, charges

Robie de Guzman   •   February 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said that cops included in the narco-list who opted to file for optional retirement will not be exonerated from criminal charges if they are found to be involved in the illegal drug trade.

Año made the statement Wednesday after some members of the opposition group slammed reports on the move of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to give the 357 cops included in the narco-list the option to retire early to reduce the cases for adjudication.

PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa earlier said he is open to optional retirement of police officers accused of having drug links to lessen the government resources that will be used when the adjudication begins.

He, however, asserted that the early retirement won’t clear the cops from allegations and that this is not an easy way out.

He added that any officer who initially availed of the early retirement option will be pursued if proven to be involved in the narcotics trade.

Gamboa recently met with most of the 357 cops and explained to them the process of the two-way adjudication to be initiated based on his request to President Rodrigo Duterte.

The process involves adjudication at the regional and directorial level for one week before the cases go to the national level which will handle the cases for three weeks.

Once all the cases are submitted to the Office of the PNP Chief, it will take three days for him to submit the results of the adjudication for approval.

Año said the 357 cops accused of having drug links should present proof to remove their names from the narco-list.

“Patunayan nilang wala silang kaugnayan sa iligal na droga. Nasa kanila ang burden of proof, iprisinta nila ang mga ebidensya na magpapatunay na wala silang kinalaman at kaugnayan sa iligal na droga,” he said.

The DILG chief said the evidence should be presented to four agencies handling illegal drug reports – the PNP, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency and the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

“Hanggang hindi nagkakaroon ng pagkakasundo ang apat na ahensyang ito, hangga’t hindi nila sinasabi ng ‘Okay na yan’, magpapatuloy ang imbestigasyon,” he said.

The narco-list is a consolidation of intelligence and other reports from law-enforcement agencies and still needs to be verified and validated. Aside from uniformed personnel, the list also includes local officials and judges as well as other personalities.

Once a complaint is filed, it can be validated within a month, Año said.

He also said that the final clearance will come from the President. 

“Gusto nating maparusahan ang mga may kaugnayan sa iligal na droga” Año said. “I commend PNP Chief Gamboa for having the courage in resolving this issue na matagal ng burden ng PNP. We need to deal with this para makapagtrabaho na nang matino ang ating mga pulis,” he added.

DILG tells LGUs to strictly ban tricycles from national highways

Robie de Guzman   •   February 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has ordered local chief executives to strictly enforce the ban on tricycles, pedicabs and motorized pedicabs on national highways.

In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said this is part of the road clearing operations being implemented by the government.

The DILG chief stressed that tricycles and pedicabs have long been banned from plying major roads. These tricycles are also not allowed to even cross or make a U-turn on national highways.

“Local governments must review and modify tricycle routes according to the ban and are encouraged to include in their plans the construction of local roads or overpasses where the tricycles can operate,” he said.

The Philippine National Police will help local leaders enforce the ban, the DILG chief said.

Aside from enforcing the ban, Año also directed local government units (LGU) to create a tricycle task force that will draw up a tricycle route plan in their respective areas.

Through DILG Memorandum Circular 2020-036, Año said that each city and municipality tricycle task force should be separate from the tricycle regulatory boards to formulate or review its tricycle route plan.

The task force will be composed of the mayor as chairman, the chief of police as vice-chairman, while the Sanggunian’s committee chair on transportation or public safety, the president of the Liga ng mga Barangay, the head of the tricycle regulatory board, the head of the Department of Public Order and Safety, the planning and development officer, the head of the traffic management office, and the local government operations officer will be its members.

Representatives of the transportation department and its attached agencies will function as resource persons of the task force, while the head of the city or municipal legal office shall provide secretariat support.

The DILG Chief added that the task force should meet with stakeholders and rationalize all tricycle routes to enforce the ban, identify national roads within the jurisdiction of the LGU, and determine the present and proposed routes in view of drafting a tricycle route plan (TRP) within 30 days from the issuance of the memorandum.

He added that the TRP should include a schematic map of the location of tricycle terminals, the national highways and the portions thereof to be used by tricycles if there is no alternative route.

The installation of appropriate signages, marks for lanes and other safety features to guide all vehicles must also be detailed in the plan as well as create awareness among residents and motorists of new tricycle routes or portions of highways allowed to tricycles because of lack of alternative route; a color scheme or emblem for tricycles that ply a route traversing a national highway; and penalties for violators.

Non-compliance to the latest directive will warrant the issuance of a show-cause order, Año said. “Failure to provide a sufficient response shall be a ground for the filing of appropriate administrative cases pursuant to Section 60 of the Local Government Code and other laws and policies,” he warned.

He also said that compliance with the trike ban order will form part of the assessment LGUs’ compliance to the implementation of the presidential directive on road clearing.

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