Rough Cuts | This could be the sustainable solution

We noted that last Friday and Monday the elements of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO) were operating in the outskirts of Davao City specifically on Catalunan Grande and Tacunan Roads.

Their primary targets were motorcycle and tricycle drivers.

Based on the number of motorbikes and tricycle units flagged down at every section of the roads where the LTO and CTTMO personnel stationed themselves we sensed that many were found out to have violated various transport regulations.

Primarily for single motorbike riders we assumed that most violations were on non-wearing of helmet or possibly driving without license, or their unit still unregistered with the LTO. For those driving tricycles our assumption is that the drivers may have been servicing passengers without the necessary permits or franchise.

While we believe that the LTO and CTTMO elements may not need to operate that far because right in the city’s downtown area there are more than enough traffic rule violators, their shift in areas of operation is a welcome move. Why, because we know for a fact that many motorists in the secluded barangays are taking advantage of the absence of traffic law enforcers in their areas of operation.

And the illegally operating habal-habals, payong-payongs, and even tricycles are further emboldened to continue their trade because the local residents have no other option but to patronize those means of transportation.

One way or the other the illegal act is accepted as “legal” in the areas concerned because the single motorbikes or franchise-less tricycles are the only available mode of transport for the people and their products to the market.

We also believe that if the LTO and the CTTMO is intent on providing a sustainable solution to the problem of wanton violation of traffic and transport regulations in remote villages, apprehensions of drivers, confiscation of their licenses, and impounding of units are not the ultimate strategy. Instead, there have to be some approaches that will make it easy for buyers of such vehicle converted for the purpose of its purchase.

Say, why doesn’t the LTO organize a mobile vehicle registration team that will visit strategic locations in the city’s commercial enclaves in the districts like Calinan, Toril, Marilog, Malabog, Lasang, or even Paquibato proper?

On the same vein why doesn’t the local government of Davao City, at the instance of the CTTMO, also do the same? That is, if issuance of permit to operate “habal-habal” or tricycle is under its authority, form a similar mobile group that will fan into the district centers on prescribed schedules.

The LTO and LGU teams may even go to the areas at the same time and undertake their respective responsibilities together.

Yes, this is the marketing strategy being adopted by motorbike traders in their efforts to offer their products to as many customers possible. So why cannot the LTO and the LGU adopt the scheme if they are indeed intent to bring this government services closer or right where the people are?

After all, these offices can coordinate with the motorbike dealers located in the district centers in advising their buyers of the requirements for registration and in determining the venue and schedule of the LTO and LGU/CTTMO team visits.

The same group can also coordinate with the different barangay councils in ensuring that the mobile activities, the documentary and other requirements are effectively communicated to the motorbike buyers residing in the villages.

We are certain that with this strategy the buyers would be saved from additional expenses to pay off supposed middlemen who are to facilitate fast registration with the LTO at cost many times higher than the actual amount paid to the agency.

For as long as this is not done the add-on costs in the registration such as transportation fare, meals, in going down to the city proper where the mentioned offices are based, and/or facilitation fees would be enough to make barangay-based motorbike and tricycle owners hesitant transport regulations violators.

Posted in Opinion