Rough Cuts | One ordinance hardly followed

LAST Friday, we had an accidental meeting with third district councilor Conrado Baluran who authored the amendment to the City Traffic Management Code of Davao City.He commented on our column item regarding the futility of effectively implementing the provision in that amended ordinance prohibiting business establishments from allocating for their own or that of their customers’ parking use roadside on their front area.

     Our position on the issue is that while that particular provision is well-intentioned and definitely will redound to the good of the motorists and the general public, it is extremely difficult to fully implement because there is lack of traffic enforcers to monitor the provision’s compliance as well as do the necessary to make sure that violators’ attention is called or if the situation calls for, cause their prosecution.

     According to Councilor Baluran, this problem will soon be addressed as Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has committed to increase the number of traffic enforcers by 250 warm bodies.

     That indeed is welcome news. With 250 additional traffic enforcers more city roads will be covered, including perhaps the developed enclaves located in the centers of the city’s various districts.

     And talking of traffic rules enforcement in Davao City we are asking our most respected head of the City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO) Retired P/Col. Dionisio Abude who is his man heading the traffic enforcers’ team in Calinan?

     We have observed that his team members seem to have no clear areas of assignment. At one time people see them concentrated on the roads surrounding the Calinan public markets. At another they seem focused only on the Davao-Bukidnon Road fronting a famous grocery store up to another outlet of a mall chain.

     There were few times that we personally saw them manning the traffic at the junction of Davao-Bukidnon highway and the road to Baguio District near the vicinity of the Roman Catholic Church.

     Probably, because of the difficulty tracking their assigned areas of operation many friends of ours have expressed to us that this could be the reason why none of them has monitored the flagrant violation by the owner of a small carenderia beside a water refilling station along the highway not far from a newly opened branch of a well-known bank of this prohibition on “exclusive” allocation of road side as a no park zone for non-customers of theirs.

     What the carenderia owner is doing is, he/she piles several empty plastic cases of soft drinks on their front depriving motorists from using the space to park even for just a few minutes. We assume that if a motorist would attempt to park, the store owner would probably ask the driver if he/she and his/her passengers will take their meals in the eatery. If the answer would be “No” then the piled boxes will not be removed.

     From the information we got from Councilor Baluran, the amended Traffic Management Code of Davao City which carries that particular prohibition on “owner’s/customer’s exclusive parking” of road sides right on its front is already in effect.

     Hence, we are calling on the good CTTMO chief Abude to provide his men in Calinan some guidance so they will know what they must do in the performance of their duty in relation to the amended Traffic Management Code.

     Of course we believe that there is one important component in that implementation of that amended ordinance that is not given due course. And this is on the matter of communicating the ordinance implementation to the general public. In fact we are of the opinion that there is need to publish in the local papers the totality of the said ordinance so that the people of Davao can have the opportunity to know the various aspects of the law.

    Yes, people cannot be expected to comply fully the requirements or instructions of any ordinance, the Amended Traffic Management Code included, if they have no or very limited knowledge about it.

     Neither can the uniformed enforcers that include the traffic policemen and their duly deputized traffic aides be effective in their responsibility if they themselves know very little of the law and what are those that should be considered violations thereof.

     With this treatise of ours on this space we are hoping that the next time we pass by that portion of the Davao-Bukidnon Highway in Calinan we would see the area we mentioned here already cleared of empty softdrink boxes and the traffic enforcers assigned permanent areas, or given some mobility so they can do effective monitoring of possible violations of the amended city traffic management ordinance.

Posted in Opinion