A May 10, 2012 press release from the Department of Public Works and Highways
“We have to recover the road right-of-way [ROW] for the safety of pedestrians and the general public,” Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio L. Singson said after a study has shown that pedestrians are victims of more than half of the recorded road crashes along national roads.
“With the road shoulders or sidewalks full of illegal encroachments, pedestrians have no option but to walk on the road pavements,” Secretary Singson said.
In his Department Order No. 29 dated May 7, 2012, Secretary Singson directed the strict enforcement of existing orders on the removal of obstructions and prohibited uses within the road ROW of national roads. The DPWH move is also pursuant to the provisions of Section 23 of Presidential Decree (PD) No. 17 and the National Building Code of the Philippines (PD 1096) and its Implementing Rules and Regulations.
Secretary Singson also 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, and status report and inventory on the removal of illegal structures and obstructions on or before July 3, 2012 and every end of the succeeding months.
“If we want to have better quality and safer roads, we have to clear these obstructions along national roads,” Secretary Singson said.
“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,” Secretary Singson added.
Considered obstructions within the ROW include the following: all kinds of private and permanent structures such as buildings; houses; shanties; stores; shops; sheds; posts; canopies; billboards; signage; advertisements; fences; walls; railings; basketball courts; garbage receptacles; plants and plant boxes; driveways and ramps occupying or protruding to the sidewalk; humps; construction materials (gravel, sand, cement, lumber, steel bars, waste materials, etc.); and 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/