MANILA, Philippines – Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Jojo Garcia, together with officials of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) as well as Metro Manila gathered on Monday to discuss how to improve traffic flow within Metro Manila.

In his opening statement, Año said that even if the department believed it is not necessary to suspend mayors for disobedience regarding the problem of traffic flow in their cities, they would not hesitate to name those who failed to heed the president’s directive.

The DILG asked each mayor of the Metro Manila mayors to prepare their city road network inventory, as well as to identify specific roads with obstructions like illegal vendors and illegally parked vehicles, for them to carry out the necessary clearing operations and rehabilitation of the said streets.

Aside from the mayors, Año also encouraged Metro Manilans to participate in the clearing operations. He also advised the citizens to notify DILG about those who will not comply with the said directive.

Metro Manila local government units were given 60 days to settle the various problems in their areas, starting Monday, July 29.

Año explained that the 60-day period is the official deadline while the former 45-day countdown was just included in the discussion stage. He cited Quezon City, one of the biggest cities in Metro Manila, which needs reasonable time to execute the clearing operations, as among the reasons the DILG adjusted the deadline to 60 days.

According to Año those who would not be able to comply with the president’s directive within 60 days would face preventive suspension of at least two months depending on the result of the investigation.

On the other hand, to ensure the welfare of the illegal vendors during the clearing operations, Garcia said that the MMDA will keep an eye on their personnel to guarantee that they would not commit any abuses. (CA/LMO)


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