MAASIN CITY, Southern  Leyte, – More than 9,000 structures in Southern Leyte have been tagged by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) as road right of way (RROW) obstructions.

As of mid 2015, the DPWH-Southern Leyte District Engineering Office (SLDEO) noted at least 9,610 encroachment along national roads with 1,616 classified as makeshift and 7,994 concrete structures.

The recently completed inventory, according to District Engineer Ma. Margarita Junia is a big step towards recovering the RROW in this province.

“We have a target to reduce the number of obstructions every quarter. Each maintenance point person is assigned to a specific road section to meet their quota,” said

Encroachment problem is more serious in Maasin City, Sogod town, Bontoc and some town centers where some local government-owned structures are within the RROW.

The DPWH-SLDEO has already sent three notices to 130 property owners.

“After sending the third notice, we will have a dialogue with them. If they will resist to remove obstructions, we will take legal actions,” Junia added.

Sending notices are concentrated in areas with approved and proposed funding for widening and off carriageway improvement in the next two years.

“This is to make sure that implementation of road widening will be smooth,” she added.

The move is in compliance to Secretary Rogelio Singson’s Department Order No. 29 dated May 7, 2012, where he directed the strict enforcement of existing orders on the removal of obstructions and prohibited uses within the RROW of national highways.

The DPWH has listed the following as RROW obstructions: buildings; houses; shanties; stores; shops; sheds; posts; canopies; billboards; signage; advertisements; fences; walls; railings; basketball courts; garbage receptacles; plants and plant boxes.

Also considered as encroachment are driveways and ramps occupying or protruding to the sidewalk; humps; construction materials (gravel, sand, cement, lumber, steel bars, waste materials, among others; and vehicles and equipment that are junked, parked, and occupying or protruding to the sidewalk or shoulder. (PNA)