CAMIGUIN, Philippines – Two town mayors of this province insisted that they did not violate the Duterte administration’s road-clearing policy.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) have filed administrative charges against Mayors Helenio Abecia of Guinsiliban town and Joseph Uayan of Sagay town as well as 10 other municipal mayors all over the country for not complying with the order to rid the country’s streets of obstructions.
On Sunday (Jan. 5), DILG Sec. Eduardo Año said in a statement that the municipal executives committed gross neglect of duty and grave misconduct for failing to comply with the government’s directive to clear roads of illegal structures and other obstructions in their jurisdiction within 60 days.
But Abecia and Uayan insisted that they should not be charged.
“We have not violated the order. We have implemented it. That’s why I was wondering why we have been charged by the DILG,” said Abecia in an interview Monday (Jan. 6)
He said there is no presence of illegal vendors or structure on the town’s streets as Guinsiliban is just a small municipality with a population of 6,000 residents living in seven barangays.
The only obstruction they removed was a basketball post and board that was placed on the side of the street.
Uayan, for his part, conducted road clearing operations once the DILG provincial office relayed to him the order.
He said they trimmed tree branches that have encroached the town’s roads, towed a parked car, and relocated a house built on a sidewalk.
Sagay is a fifth class town with a population of 12,386 people residing in nine villages.
At first, Uayan said, there were no specific guidelines on what to do when they started the operation, and it was only a few days later that the DILG provincial office instructed them to draft a municipal road-clearing ordinance, rehabilitation plan, inventory of roads with obstruction, and displacement plan as requisites.
He said those requisites were given to them by the DILG after they were given a show cause order on the last week of November last year.
“The DILG gave us a template containing the requisites on what we need to comply, and we followed them all. We submitted the filled-out template, and the DILG provincial office approved it,” he added.
Uayan said he found it hard to believe that they were part of the respondents because they followed DILG instructions. (davaotoday.com)