By Raymund F. Antonio
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) conducted a clearing operation from Bonifacio Drive to R-10 in Tondo, Manila.
They cleared the sidewalks and two lanes of the north bound direction of R-10 and Bonifacio Drive from temporary and permanent structures such as shanties, illegally-parked vehicles, stalls, and canopies, among others on Wednesday, March 2.
“You can no longer move around the periphery of Metro Manila. They have to respect the road,” DPWH regional director for Metro Manila Melvin Navarro said during the clearing operation.
The DPWH has teamed up with the Manila city government, MMDA, and Philippine National Police (PNP) in the conduct of the clearing operation about three kilometers from Bonifacio Drive to R-10.
The DPWH mobilized its six trucks with 60 personnel while the MMDA dispatched 12 tow trucks for the clearing operation. They were assisted by policemen from the Manila Police District.
In removing obstructions from national roads, Navarrro emphasized that DPWH needs the help of other agencies.
“We would have to do this together. This is a national road,” he noted.
Navarro said the southbound of R-10 and Bonifacio Drive, including Roxas Boulevard would be next in the government’s clearing operations.
Under the provisions of Section 23 of Presidential Decree (PD) No. 178 also known as the Revised Philippine Highway Act, all DPWH Regional and District Engineering Offices are mandated to implement removal of obstructions in any manner or unlawful and private use within any portion of road right-of-way.
Road right right-of-way violations have been observed along the road segment as it is being constantly occupied by illegally-parked vehicles, stockpiles of palochina, and temporary structures of vendors.
Ed Santos, assistant chief of DPWH’s Maintenance Division in NCR, indicated that they will carry out clearing operations more often in a week to sustain their drive against road obstructions.
“We will make this a frequent operation although we don’t have the police power, we should have the courage in doing it,” he told reporters.
On road management, he stressed it should be a joint effort of police, MMDA and DPWH.