- The DPWH-VI warned farmers against using national roads to dry their palay and other farm produce
- The practice poses a grave danger to motorists
- Violators may be fined and/or imprisoned
Rice farmers who do not have access to drying facilities and modern post-harvest technology such as a mechanical dryer use national roads to dry their produce, especially palay (unhusked rice).
These farmers often place barricades such as boulders and big stones along the national roads and highways to protect their produce from being overrun by vehicles. This practice poses a grave danger to motorists and hampers traffic flow.
On November 6, the Department of Public Works and Highways in Western Visayas took to Facebook to issue an advisory that reminds the public that using national roads to dry their produce is totally banned.
“This is to inform the public that drying of palay and other farm produce along national highways is totally banned in order to safeguard motorists from any untoward accident,” the advisory said.
The advisory cited two DPWH Department Orders issued in 2003 and 2013, and Presidential Decree No. 17, as amended, which states that “It shall be unlawful for any person to usurp any portion of a right-of-way, to convert any part of any public highways, bridge, wharf or trail to his own private use or to obstruct the same in any manner.”
A fine of not more than P1,000 and/or imprisonment not exceeding six months will be imposed on violators.
Vivian Tan, DPWH regional information office, said the public can help in catching violators. She said anyone may alert DPWH-6 either by filing a complaint at the regional office or posting complaints on the regional office’s Facebook page