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VALIDATION OF road clearing-related reports of cities and capital towns.

So was the subject of Advisory No. 2019-92 from the Department of the Interior and Local Government to its provincial and city/municipal officials, “per the directive of Sec. Eduardo Año.”

The advisory scheduled inspections in the City of San Fernando on Sept. 10, Angeles City on Sept. 11, and Mabalacat City on Sept. 11.

Even as an advisory, per se, is nothing more than a suggestion or recommendation with no compelling force behind it, this one apparently carries some power of injunction. How else explain Mayor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin skipping his pre-planned guesting at the Pampanga Press Club’s Talk Widus forum on the same day.

Now, were the DILG as persistent in pushing for its boss’ earlier advisory to keep tricycles out of the national highways, there will certainly be better clearing of, and more order, on the roads.

DILG Advisory No. 2019-0016 that bans tricycles and pedicabs from major roads is but an iteration of the much older DILG Memo Circular 2007-001, which in turn sprang out of Section 10 of Presidential Letter of Instruction No. 1482 Series of 1985 – Marcos pa ito – that tricycles are “prohibited to operate along the national highway or any road which allows maximum speed of more than 40kph, especially on well-paved, high-speed roads, unless special tricycle/bicycle lanes on the shoulder are provided, except to cross.”

No mere advisory there but the full force of the law. But for Sec. Año’s perfunctory warnings to LGUs on the matter, there is nothing the DILG has done to “validate” his advisory’s implementation. If it did, then the state of mayhem on the streets of the cities of Angeles, San Fernando, and Mabalacat absolutely invalidated everything in it.

Yay, there are those “Public Advisory” notices on the median of MacArthur Highway in Angeles City reading “All tricycles and single motorcycles: Use outermost right lane.” Clearly a concession violative of the DILG circular and the LOI, but still absolutely ignored.

Just like the “No Helmet, No Travel” policy pursuant to Republic Act 10054 known as “Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009” which mandates all motorcycle riders to wear standard protective motorcycle helmets while driving.

Again beyond “postering” along the national road of the NH-NT policy with corresponding fines for its infraction, the LGUs have yet to do anything with the least semblance of enforcing it. And the DILG, again, falls short in its “validation” of its implementation.

There apparently lies the problem – the long and short of it: a surfeit of advisories, circulars, orders on one hand; a dearth in implementation, in enforcement on the other. As much in the provinces as in Metro Manila.

What even passes for implementation usually all a matter of novelty – no different from a passing fad that wanes soon after it waxes – forgotten at the onset of another fancy. Ningas cogon, more aptly. And on retail at best, as in tingi-tingi. One advisory or circular at a time.

For once, can’t the DILG and the LGUs, include the other road and transport agencies like the DPWH, DOTr, LTO, LTFRB, HPG, get together whatever is left of their brains to come up with a unified, if wholesale, approach to road-clearing and maintenance of order thereat by simply strictly enforcing the law?

Constantly and consistently at that, till its strict observance is validated as to have become a habit for everyone.


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