Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho ‘Icot’ Petilla welcomed Interior Sec. Benjamin ‘Benhur’ Abalos, Jr., during a fun run dubbed as ‘Buhay Ingatan, Droga’y Ayawan.’ Among those present were DILG Regional Director Arnel Agabe and Palo Mayor Remedios ‘Matin’ Petilla.(CARLOS JERICHO ICOT PETILLA FACEBOOK)

TACLOBAN CITY – Some local government unit officials from the fourth district of Leyte are asking for the intervention of Interior Sec. Benhur Abalos for the enforcement of Executive Order No. 41 signed by President Ferdinand Marcos last month.

EO 41 directed local governments to suspend the collection of “pass-through fees” to ensure the efficient movement of goods across regions to help revitalize local industries.
The enforcement of EO 41, as a result, is projected to drastically lower the prices of products, particularly of aggregates that are essential in the construction business, according to Mayors Ramon Oñate of Palompon, Edgardo Cordeño of Isabel, and Bernardino Tacoy of Matag-ob in a letter addressed to Sec.Abalos last Oct 1, 2023.

The three mayors said that aggregate prices in the district had gone up since the city government of Ormoc started to enforce EO 17-A in February 2020.

This resulted in the prices of aggregates to soar high, the local mayors said.

From the previous P900 per cubic meter, it now surged to P1,600 to P1,700 due to the additional cost of transporting it to their areas because vehicles that are transporting it will have to pass to other municipalities to avoid crossing to Ormoc where their product will be confiscated as ordered under EO 17-A, they said.

“This EO 17-A is even more restrictive if not unconstitutional considering that it did not only impose fees upon entering the national highway of Ormoc City but it prohibits any sand and gravel business to pass through Ormoc City coming from other towns. If found inside the city’s jurisdiction, the local executive order authorities the confiscation of the product and penalize the operator,” the mayors said.

The mayors hoped that the DILG would intervene by ordering the city government of Ormoc to enforce the President’s EO immediately.

“The EO of President Marcos mandates all LGUs cannot prohibit nor impose fees passing it through national roads, by that alone I hope that they will respect it,” Mayor Oñate said. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)