The local government here reported that over ninety percent of public roads have been cleared of obstructions within the sixty-day timetable.
The September 29 deadline, was formalized through a directive by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued last July heeding the order of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“There was constant monitoring being done because there are instances where those who were asked to clear the streets are coming back,” said Mayor Gerard Espina in an interview with reporters Monday.
“Encroachers are already informed, but they continue to ignore orders. We will do confiscation and that will be their loss.”
In implementing the DILG Memorandum Circular 121-2019, the mayor said they also asked the assistance of village officials in enforcing the order.
“There is not much resistance from the people because that is a national program,” Espina said.
The local government also assisted households badly affected by the clearing drive. “If the demolished extension compromises the security of the family, we provided construction materials such as cement, plyboard, and roofing,” Espina said.
“We only instructed them to do their repairs within their location allowed by law. No more extensions. This is our way of keeping our social responsibility intact to those who are vulnerable against possible crimes like theft while their houses do not have the walls to secure their belongings,” Espina added.
Naval is a second-class town and capital of the province of Biliran. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 55,000. (PNA)