Mayor Benjamin Magalong assured barangays of the city’s support to strengthen the implementation in their jurisdictions of Oplan ARO (Anti-Road Obstruction operation), a nationwide campaign to free major national, city and barangay roads from encroachments from public and private structures, as well as illegally parked motor vehicles. Some punong barangays had been encountering difficulties in implementing the policy due to lack of manpower.

Others admitted helplessness due to headstrong constituents and even due to intimidation by arrogant residents. Lower Quirino Hill punong barangay Van Dicang saidsome barangays really need reinforcement to fully implement the ARO drive. He recommended the conduct of a re-orientation on the program and updating of the list of the deputized barangays officials along with a refresher on the traffic management laws.

The mayor welcomed Dicang’s suggestions saying he is for the success of the campaign in the barangays.
At present, Oplan ARO implementation in the barangays is being supplemented by the different stations of the Baguio City Police Police and the Public Order and Safety Division. Barangay officials were deputized to implement the program by virtue of an administrative order issued at the time of former Mayor Mauricio Domogan in 2016.

Dept. of Public Works and Highways Department Order no. 73, Series of 2014 prohibits within the road-right-of-way of national roads, vending, repair of vehicles, and other businesses within the sidewalk and other parts of RROW. In 2019, the Dept. of Interior and Local Government issued Memorandum Circular 121-2019 ordering local government units and barangays to “return to public use, all public roads and
sidewalks that have been appropriated for private use” in compliance with the directive of former president Rodrigo Duterte.

At the close of the deadline given on the campaign that same year, Mayor Magalong mandated all barangay officials in the city to sustain the operations.

Aileen P. Refuerzo/Baguio-PIO

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