Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año says that there is no political consideration in the road clearing operation, it will be strictly implemented in all local government units (LGUs), and will apply to all whether government or private entities.
Leading the demolition of a barangay hall and police traffic station in Quezon City today, Año says that President Rodrigo Duterte's directive of reclaiming public roads will help ease traffic in Metro Manila and other parts of the country.
"Ginagawa lang natin ang dapat sapagkat ang batas ay nilikha para ito ay ipatupad para sa ikabubuti ng pamumuhay ng mga tao. Wala po itong intensyon, motibo o halong anumang pulitika. Ito po ay para sa bayan," Año says.
"Itutuloy po natin ito hanggang mapagtagumpayan natin hindi lamang dito sa Metro Manila kundi maging sa buong bansa," he adds.
Together with Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte and other government officials, Año led the demolition of the barangay hall of Damalang Lagi, and the Philippine National Police (PNP) Traffic Sector 1, DTEU Station.
“Wala po tayong sinasanto dito. Government structures violating the President’s directive will not be spared,” he says.
The DILG Chief and Mayor Belmonte also turned over to the officials of Damayang Lagi a temporary barangay hall for the continuous delivery of public service in the community.
Año says that he is pleased that the mayors of Metro Manila are all on board and are putting on the work to comply with the President's directive. He hopes that local chief executives from all over the Philippines follow suit and be inspired by the revolution Metro Manila mayors are implementing within their jurisdiction.
"We do not want this to end in Metro Manila alone. We have said this before, the President's order encompasses the whole country. Sana ay ma-inspire sila sa mga pagbabagong nangyayari dito sa Maynila," he explains.
"Nakakatuwa na wala pa tayo sa kalahati ng ating 60-day countdown ay marami nang nagagawa ang ating mga Metro Manila Mayors," he adds.
The said countdown started last July 29, 2019 upon the issuance of the DILG Memorandum Circular 2019-121that directs all LCEs "to exercise their powers essential to reclaim public roads which are being used for private ends".
The DILG Secretary says that the traffic problem in Metro Manila has been a perennial issue in the country that has caused billions of pesos of economic setback and it's about time that the government deals with it head-on. "We are fortunate to have a President with a strong political will to implement much needed reforms in our country. Kaya dapat natin itong samantalahin."