The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has begun informing municipal mayors that it would remove all boundary markers, particularly welcome arches straddling the national highway, in compliance with a directive from the regional office.
DPWH Catanduanes District Engineering Office OIC-District Engineer Gil Augustus Balmadrid told the Tribune last week that of the nine such structures in their list, seven will be torn down in the next few weeks.
The other two at the road leading to the Virac port and the Virac-Bato boundary have already been demolished, with the latter affected by an on-going road widening project.
Slated for demolition are boundary markers in San Miguel, Panganiban, Oco in Viga, Baras-Gigmoto boundary, Penafrancia in Viga, the Gigmoto-Viga boundary, and at the entrance of the road to Virac airport.
According to DPWH sources, Regional Director Virgilio Eduarte has ordered district engineers in Bicol to remove the boundary markers within the road right-of-way of national highways pursuant to Department Order No. 73, Series of 2018, as well existing laws and presidential pronouncements on the removal of obstructions and prohibited uses.
However, it was pointed out that DO No. 73 does not specifically mention boundary markers but unauthorized gantry signs with road messages or advertisements.
Gantry signs are those mounted on an overhead support and built on high-traffic roads.
“These materials distract or obstruct the view of motorists or interpretation of official traffic signs, signals and devices, as well as constitute serious hazards and pose imminent danger to the public in the event fastenings give way during strong winds, typhoons, and other calamities,” stated Secretary Mark Villar in the Order.
It likewise mandates the removal of the signs upon observance of due process wherein owners are given 15 days within which to demolish the same.
The DPWH regional office was also quoted as saying that the demolished boundary arches will be replaced with a marker at the side of the road resembling the standard traffic sign.