Road clearing drive to resume as obstructions proliferate anew

The city government of Zamboanga through the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) together with the local police, and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG- City Office) are expected to resume the road clearing operations as illegal structural obstructions and illegal parking have proliferated anew.

This was taken up during the City Peace and Order Council (CPOC) meeting Monday after CDRRMO head Dr. Elmeir Apolinario himself brought to the body’s attention his observation that illegal structures are obstructing anew the highways in both the east and west coasts of the city.

Dr. Apolinario specifically pointed to the road obstructions in the west coast barangay of Ayala and in Culianan and Cabaluay, east of the city.

He lamented that the illegal obstructions were back again on major roads after these were cleared in series of operations about two years ago before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mayor Beng Climaco, who presided over the meeting as chairperson of the CPOC, right away instructed the police and the CDRRMO in coordination with DILG-City Operations Office to conduct anew the road clearing operations in areas mentioned and other roads in the city where illegal obstructions are back again.

To recall in 2019, Zamboanga City had obtained 90 points passing mark for the road clearing operations as assessed by the Regional Validating Team of the DILG.

DILG Regional Director Paisal Abutazil, who headed the team, said the city garnered the highest point way beyond the passing mark of 70 points for a highly-urbanized city.

The team was composed of representatives from the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, National Police Commission, and the civil society.

He said the indicators focused on six aspects and these were: ordinance, wherein the city scored 14 out of 15 points; inventory, wherein the city got a perfect score of 5; road clearing, wherein the city got 45 out of 50 points; displacement program earned for the city 8 out of 10 points; rehabilitation efforts gave the city 13 of 15 points; and, grievance mechanism with a perfect score of 5 for a total of 90 points.

The clearing of all roads of illegal structures is in pursuant to the DILG Memorandum Circular 2019-121, which was in line with the order of President Rodrigo Duterte.-(Vic Larato)