Public works department reminds public that practice of drying produce on public roads is illegal

The practice of drying palay (unmilled rice or paddy) on public highways and national roads is dangerous for motorists (motorcycles in particular) and against the law, reminded the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). 

The agency cited prior orders Department Order 41 from 2013 and Department Order 52 of 2003 that labeled such practice as traffic hazards for motor vehicles, most especially two-wheeled motorcycles.

Citing Section 23 of Presidential Decree No. 17 or Revised Philippine Highway Act, which states:

"It shall be unlawful for any person to usurp any portion of a right-of-way, to convert any part of any public highway, bridge, wharf or trail to his own private use or to obstruct the same in any manner, or to use any highway beach for irrigation or other private purposes, and any person so offending shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand pesos or by imprisonment not exceeding six months."

The law further provides stiffer punishments to violators, in the even of an accident caused by such obstructions on the national roads highways.

"If the obstruction or damage shall result in any road or motor vehicle accident, the penalty provided in the second paragraph of Article three hundred and thirty of the Revised Penal Code, shall be imposed."

As per the DPWH, violators will be given (3) three Notices of Obstruction through their barangay or relevant local government unit, before they are penalized.