Now that the summer season is here, the farmers and rice traders in the provinces have started using the national highways as their solar dryers once more, prompting the Department of Public Works and Highways to plead with them to stop this decades-old practice.
"We have widened the national highways to facilitate smoother flow of traffic especially on major arterial roads, and not to be used as solar dyers for palay or corn," said DPWH secretary Rogelio Singson.
With the DPWH recently widening and improving the MacArthur Highway or Manila North Road going to Ilocos Region; the Cagayan Valley Road going to the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, and Isabela; and the Manila South Road or Daang Maharlika going to Bicol and other national arterial roads in the country, farmers have reportedly been observed drying their palay or corn along the national highways and cordoning off the widened road sections.
"To add trouble, these farmers put stones and barriers along the national highways to protect their palay from being overrun by vehicles," added Singson. "The presence of big stones or boulders poses a danger to motorists."