Metro Manila mayors confident of meeting DILG deadline

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 28, 2019   •   875

Metro Manila mayors expressed confidence they would meet the deadline of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to clear public roads in their area.

The mayors have reported during the 25th Metro Manila Council meeting on Tuesday (Aug 27) that their road clearing operations are on track with the scheduled deadline.

San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora reported that 80% of roads have been cleared. Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto said 50 to 60% of national and secondary roads have been cleared while tertiary roads are still being cleared.

Representatives of other cities like Muntinlupa and Caloocan have reported, 100% of their major roads have been cleared. Their operations will still continue in barangay roads.

MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim is elated with the progress in the road clearing operation and said that maintaining will be the difficult part.

“Clearing operations have been successful with the Metro Manila mayors leading the campaign. We can see that there is progress. Our Metro Manila mayors are doing their part but big challenge is maintenance and sustenance,” said Lim.

Lim also warned barangay officials who will refuse to participate in the road clearing operations.

“We asked the barangays captains to do their part in ensuring that cleared roads are free from obstructions. We are warning barangay officials who refused to cooperate may face charges,” he said.—AAC

301 barangay execs facing raps over alleged SAP pay-out anomalies – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   June 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday said that a total of 301 barangay officials are now facing criminal charges over the alleged anomalies in the distribution of cash aid under the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

“Hindi po hihinto ang DILG at ang PNP (Philippine National Police) sa paghabol sa mga kurakot na barangay, LGU officials, at personnel na ito,” DILG spokesperson Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a statement.

“Secretary Año has personally directed the PNP to ensure that cases are filed para maparusahan ang mga ito sapagkat talaga namang nakakagalit na sa panahon ng krisis kung kailan kailangang-kailangan ng ating mga kababayan ng tulong ay nagagawa pa nilang manloko ng mga kabarangay nila,” he added.

Malaya said more cases will be filed in the coming days as the PNP continues to conduct case build-up against 76 other barangay officials.

He said a total of 381 complainants went to the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to report the alleged corrupt practices of their barangay officials in the SAP distribution.

Based on the latest report of the PNP-CIDG, a huge chunk of those facing criminal raps are barangay chairperson and councilmen. Barangay secretaries, health workers, treasurers, Sangguniang Kabataan chairpersons and even local government officials and employees have also been charged with criminal cases.

These officials were charged for violations of Republic Act (RA) 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices, RA 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, and RA 11332 or Law on Reporting of Communicable Diseases.

Malaya also reiterated the DILG’s call on the public to report irregularities in the cash aid distribution as the government prepares to distribute the second tranche of the assistance this month.

“Patuloy po ang pagtanggap namin ng mga sumbong and we encourage our kababayans na ireport ang mga ganitong uri ng kalokohan,” he said.

AFP, PNP provide free ride to commuters amid limited public transport

Robie de Guzman   •   June 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have deployed buses and trucks to help transport stranded commuters after Metro Manila shifted to general community quarantine (GCQ) starting June 1.

PNP spokesperson Brigadier General Bernard Banac said they sent three police trucks from Camp Crame to Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City, Navotas, and Bacoor, Cavite to assist employees returning to work on the first day of Metro Manila’s transition to GCQ.

“Naging maayos at mapayapa at ito ay magandang panimula subalit may mga natanggap din tayo na ulat ng traffic build up at congestion at mga pedestrians at essential workers na hindi nakasakay,” Banac said.

“Agad nagpalabas ng kautusan si PNP chief PGen. Archie Gamboa sa ating mga units na tumulong na magsakay ng mga stranded na essentials workers, maging ang mga PNP Trucks natin ay pinalabas din upang makapaghatid ng mga manggagawa sa kani kanilang destination,” he added.

The military, for its part, deployed six trucks to Batasan and Philcoa areas in Quezon City to augment limited public transport.

“AFP Chief General Filemon Santos Jr. commits to continue to provide commuter assistance in coordination with MMDA to alleviate the concerns of the riding public,” AFP spokesperson Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo said.

Arevalo assured that other military vehicles are on standby for dispatch when requested by authorities. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

DILG encourages public to start bike commuting to cope with limited mass transport

Marje Pelayo   •   June 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Interior Secretary Eduardo Año is encouraging the public to start bike commuting now that mass transport remains limited. 

He said this will help the public to at least conveniently reach their destinations without being stranded on the streets and increase the risks of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection. 

Actually iyan ang gusto nating i-promote, iyong malawakang paggamit ng bisikleta nationwide bilang means ng transportation lalo na kung ang pinapasukan mo is within 10 killometers away lang pwedeng-pwede na sa bike iyan,” Año said during an interview with the program Get It Straight with Daniel Razon.

[Actually, that’s what we’d like to promote, the use of bicycles as means of transportation especially if your workplace is within 10-kilometer distance, that’s very accessible for bikes.]

For now, the national government is not yet allowing back riders on motorbikes, and converting motorbikes into tricycles will also not be possible as they are not allowed on national highways. 

Seeing the high demand nowadays, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is eyeing on regulating the price of bicycles as well as the price of laptops necessary for work-from-home arrangements.

The DTI is asking businessmen to maintain a reasonable price for such goods which are deemed essential nowadays. 

“Hindi masyadong malaki na masyadong masakit for the consumer. Dahil we understand na kailangan din nilang makabawi doon sa mga loses for the past two and a half months pero hindi po para pagsamantalahan na natin ang consumers [An increase that will not hurt the consumers. We understand that they, too, need to recover from their losses from the past two and a half months, but not to the extent that will abuse the consumers],” explained DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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