In support of President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to involve barangay officials in clearing roads of obstructions, Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada on Tuesday warned he will charge barangay officials that are uncooperative with the city government’s ongoing road clearing operations.
Since June last year, Estrada has been conducting a citywide road clearing campaign, driving away more than 3,500 illegal vendors and removing countless obstructions and illegal structures.
“Yes, we are getting there,” Estrada said when asked if he will also sue barangay officials who neglect or refuse to cooperate with concerned government agencies and local government units in clearing roads of all types of obstructions.
“President Duterte’s directive is correct, to engage the barangay chairmen, no one is stopping them from helping the traffic situation. It’s also their responsibility,” he added.
In Manila, Estrada stressed that most barangay officials have so far been helping the city remove illegal structures, sidewalk vendors, and illegally parked vehicles in their communities.
In an April 12 memorandum, the Department of Interior and Local Government-National Capital Region issued a memorandum enjoining all barangay chairmen “to ensure that all roads within their area of jurisdiction are free from all kinds of obstructions.”
DILG-NCR said Duterte has instructed its office and the Metro Manila Development Authority o sue barangay officials for neglect of duty who will tolerate illegal parking and all kinds of road obstructions in their territorial jurisdictions.
Dennis Alcoreza, head of the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau, said they have sent letters to the 896 barangay chairmen requesting their assistance and cooperation in their road clearing campaign.
“We have already written letters to a lot of barangay chairmen. So now we are trying to talk to them first,” he said.
Together with Task Force Manila Cleanup, MTPB is one of the city hall departments that have been conducting relentless road clearing operations since last year as directed by Estrada.
Alcoreza said the MTPB does not have the capability to guard every street and sidewalk against illegal vendors, thus the need to tap barangay officials.
On Estrada’s orders, MTPB also started its anti-illegal parking operation in the barangays, targeting vehicles parked along Manila’s secondary and barangay roads.
The MMDA previously filed before the Ombudsman administrative cases against four barangay chairmen in Quezon City and Paranaque for failing to clear local roads of obstructions. These roads had been initially cleared by MMDA personnel.
Facing an administrative case of neglect of duty are Chairmen Clarito De Jesus of Brgy. Veterans Village, District 1, Area 3; Antonio Ma. Benito Calma Jr. of Brgy. Don Manuel; and Elmer Maturan of Bgy. Bagumbayan, all in Quezon City; and Chairman Michael Philip Factor of Brgy. Don Galo, Parañaque City.