After a study showed the victims in more than half of crashes along national roads are pedestrians, the Department of Public Works is now working to take back the right-of-way (ROW) in national roads.
DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson said road shoulders or sidewalks are full of illegal encroachments, forcing pedestrians to walk on the roads themselves.
“We have to recover the road right-of-way for the safety of pedestrians and the general public,” Singson said in a news release posted on the Official Gazette website.
Singson issued Department Order No. 29 dated May 7, where he directed the strict enforcement of orders to remove obstructions within the road ROW of national roads.
The order also cited Section 23 of Presidential Decree No. 17 and the National Building Code of the Philippines (PD 1096) and its Implementing Rules and Regulations.
Also, Singson ordered DPWH field officials to submit promptly reports on the inventory of all illegal structures and obstructions including utility posts along sidewalks and shoulders on or before June 15, 2012.
He also ordered them to submit a status report and inventory on the removal of illegal structures and obstructions on or before July 3, 2012 and every end of succeeding months.
“If we want to have better quality and safer roads, we have to clear these obstructions along national roads. We have to reiterate our stand to remove all obstructions and illegal structures within the ROW of all national roads in order to ensure public safety because more often than not, we find these obstructions in travel ways, curbs and gutters, sidewalks, shoulders, canals, and other portions in our national roads,” he said.
The DPWH considers the following items as obstructions within the ROW:
– private and permanent structures such as buildings
– basketball courts
– garbage receptacles
– plants and plant boxes
– driveways and ramps occupying or protruding to the sidewalk
– construction materials (gravel, sand, cement, lumber, steel bars, waste materials, etc.)
– vehicles and equipment that are junked, parked, and occupying or protruding to the sidewalk or shoulder.
Prohibited activities within the ROW include vending; repair of vehicles; disposal of household/commercial/industrial waste water and sewage; raising of animals; washing and drying of clothes, crops, and other similar items; and sports and related activities. — LBG, GMA News