The sprouting of various encroachments along national highways, specifically billboards, posters and other campaign materials of political candidates are expected to be installed anywhere this election season.
Pursuant to the provisions of Section 23 of Presidential Decree (PD) No. 17, also known as the Revised Philippine Highway Act and the National Building Code of the Philippines (PD No. 1096), obstructions installed within the road right-of-way (RROW) are prohibited as they cause the distraction of view of motorists constituting serious threats and hazards. This also blocks the view of other official road signages.
DPWH encourages the public to report any obstruction and prohibited uses within the RROW in their area especially during the campaign period. Department Order No. 73 series of 2014 directs all Regional and District Offices to give signage owners 15 days to dismantle their installed materials or have it removed by DPWH personnel.
The Baklas Billboard Program of DPWH is in coordination with COMELEC and other line agencies to appropriately determine the areas where these campaign materials should only be posted. A standard size of 2x3 feet is set by COMELEC to be posted in designated areas per barangay.
“Our District Engineering Offices are required to submit the status report, inventory of noted obstructions, and the notices to concerned persons directing its voluntary removal. The regional office is closely monitoring any violation along the RROW of national road so that we can immediately provide necessary action,” Regional Director Zenaida Tan said.
As of writing, more than 1,000 campaign materials all over region 10 have been removed for being tagged as RROW encroachments.