MANILA - Local government units are again required to clear roads of of obstruction starting Nov. 16, after a 7-month suspension of the directive due to the coronavirus pandemic, the interior department said Wednesday.
Local officials will have about 2 months or until Jan. 15, 2021 to comply with the directive, Interior Secretary Jonathan Malaya said over ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
Areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), the least stringent of 4 lockdown levels, should render "full implementation" of road clearing operations.
Those under general community quarantine, a notch higher than MGCQ, should have "partial implementation" of the program, he said.
"Kung kayo po GCQ o partial implementation lamang, ang hinihiling natin ay alisin lamang ang mga harang sa kalsada para sa kaligtasan ng mga gumagamit," Malaya explained. "Wala na po iyong ibang mga rehabilitation of roads."
(If you are under GCQ and should have partial implementation, we are only asking you to remove road obstructions for the safety of users. There will be no rehabilitation of roads.)
"Ngunit kung kayo ay MGCQ na at mas mababa, kailangan na po lahat ng interventions under the memorandum circular of the [Interior] Secretary have to be implemented," he added.
(But if you are under MGCQ or lower, all interventions under the Secretary's memorandum circular have to be implemented.)
The road clearing requirement exempts areas under the strictest enhanced community quarantine and modified MECQ, said Malaya. No region in the country will be under these lockdown levels in November, said the Presidential Communications Operations Office.
The DILG will validate the results of road clearing operations from Jan. 18 to 22 next year, he said.
Parked ambulance and public emergency vehicles, checkpoints, and temporary obstructions caused by the establishment of bike lanes are exempt from removal, Malaya said in a statement.
Structures for stranded individuals must also be removed upon their return to their homes, he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte in his State of the Nation Address last year instructed the interior department to “reclaim all public roads that are being used for private ends.”
The agency suspended clearing operations in March so that mayors could focus on containing the spread of COVID-19.