The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) extended anew the deadline of the Road Clearing Operation 2.0 (RCO 2.0) to February 15 in consideration of the need of local government units’ (LGUs’) to immediately prepare their local vaccination plans against Covid-19.
The DILG recently issued Memorandum No. 2021-007 tasking LGUs to come up with a local vaccination plan that contains the preparation of risk communication plans and conduct of early vaccine communication campaign to disseminate critical information on Covid-19 vaccination.
The plan must also include a master list of priority eligible vaccinee population; identification of possible vaccine centers, available cold chain storages, and other logistical requirements; and a master list of existing human resources and personnel needed in the vaccination program, among others.
“The Department is fully cognizant of the urgency for LGUs to prepare their vaccination plans against Covid-19 that’s why the road clearing timeline is extended anew. This is, however, the last extension to be granted by the DILG,” DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said.
“We need to give LGUs time to focus on their local vaccination plans so we are giving them more time to undertake their road-clearing operations,” he added.
He said the DILG’s validation of LGUs’ compliance has also been moved from January 18 to February 16 to Mar. 2, 2021.
“The deadline of the submission of all consolidated validation reports from the DILG regional offices will be one week after the end of the validation period or on March 9, 2021. We will not allow any modification in the report after submission,” he said.
To ensure close coordination on the submission of reports, Malaya said DILG regional offices must designate one road clearing focal person whose names should be submitted to the DILG Central Office by Feb. 2, 2021.
DILG Regional Offices (ROs) are also given until February 9 to submit to the DILG Central Office a directory of the members of all their validation teams (VTs) for each province, city, and a municipality within their region.
VTs are composed of one representative each from the DILG, the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), civil society organization (CSO), and the media.
In a recent memorandum prescribing the guidelines on the validation of LGU compliance with the road clearing, DILG Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Undersecretary Bernardo Florece Jr. stressed the need to “cross-post” VTs to ensure the impartiality of the validation process.
This means that during the validation activities, VTs must not be assigned in their original LGU of assignment or residence.
VTs for component cities and municipalities may be cross-posted within their respective provinces. VTs for provinces, highly urbanized cities (HUCs), and independent component cities (ICCs) may be cross-posted within the region.
For LGUs under general community quarantine (GCQ) with a required partial implementation of road clearing, VTs will select three to 10 local roads within the LGU and assess whether road obstructions exist along or within the entirety of the selected roads. The schedule of the assessment will be determined solely by the VT. The LGUs’ compliance with the ban of tricycles on national highways shall also be checked.
Meanwhile, LGUs under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) or post-quarantine scenario will be validated according to their full implementation of road clearing operations. The seven components include the removal of road obstructions, enactment of an enabling ordinance, the conduct of an inventory of road obstructions, crafting and implementation of a displacement plan, rehabilitation of cleared roads, creation of a grievance mechanism, and compliance with the ban on tricycles along national roads. The LGUs’ compliance with the ban of tricycles on national highways shall also be checked.
“Inaasahan po ng DILG ang full cooperation ng LGUs para sa maayos na (The DILG expects the full cooperation of LGUs to have an orderly) validation process. Within the validation period, LGUs shall submit reports detailing their compliance to the components of road clearing to the Validation Team. Strictly no report, no score,” Malaya said. The DILG also enjoins LGUs to submit to the VTs as attachments to the reports, photographs, videos, presentations, reports, and other means of verifications (MOVs) that support their compliance.