By Betheena Kae Unite
Drying of palay or other produce on national roads is prohibited, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) reiterated Wednesday.
In an advisory the department reminded the public, particularly in Western Visayas where harvesting season is now at its peak, that drying of palay or any produce on the national highways is considered obstruction that is punishable with fine or imprisonment.
“Drying of palay and other farm produce along national highways is totally banned in order to safeguard the motorists from any untoward incident,” the agency said.
The directive, according to the DPWH, is pursuant to DPWH Department Order No.41, series of 2013 and DPWH Department Order No. 52, series of 2003, and pursuant to provisions of Section 23 of Presidential Decree No. 17, stating that “It shall be unlawful for any person to usurp any portion of a right-of-way, to convert any part of any public highways, bridge, wharf or trail to his own private use or to obstruct in the same in any manner.”
Violation of the law is punishable by a fine of not more than P1,000 or by imprisonment not exceeding to six months.
Based on the department order issued in February 2003, the private use of even the sidewalk, gutter and curb, or any other portions of the road covered by the right-of-way is prohibited.
Other banned structures
Private-owned structures installed on the road right-of-way are also banned. This is usually the case on the national roads in the metropolis.
According to the same department order, all kinds of private temporary and permanent structures such as buildings, houses, shanties, stores, shops, stalls, posts, canopies, billboards, signages, advertisements, fences, walls, railings, basketball courts, and garbage receptacles.
Plants and plant boxes are also prohibited along the national roads. It is also not allowed to use any part of the national road as a storage area for construction materials. Using it as a parking lot and for repair shops are banned.
The district engineers are authorized to issue due notices to the violators to remove the obstructions.
In April 2013, the department issued the order to ban the drying of palay and other farm produce on national highways.