The City Council is planning to decrease the P3,000 penalty fee for tricycle drivers and operators who will be caught violating the Traffic Management Code (TMC) for the first time.
In a privilege speech on Monday, councilor Nesario Awat said the move will show that the city government is listening to the public and their demand.
Awat said, “the burden and discomfort this current monetary penalty brought the public under City Ordinance No. 909 had a negative impact on the candidacy of its author, councilor Rolando Amurao, who was not re-elected during the recent midterm elections.”
“Nakakalungkot may kasama tayo rito sa Sangguniang Panlungsod, hinahangaan ko siya, pero siya po ay naging biktima ng isang issue na sa tingin ko po ay hindi lamang nagkaintindihan. Ang akin pong tinutukoy ay si konsehal Bong Amurao. Ako po ay naniniwala as an elected member of this August body, we have to be sensitive to address the demands of our constituents. I think we have to review this Ordinance No. 909 and for that matter, I would like that this Ordinance No. 909 be referred to the committee for review,” he pointed out.
City Ordinance No. 909 amended several sections of City Ordinance No. 253 known as the “Traffic Management Code of Puerto Princesa” that also increased the fines imposed on violators.
However, Amurao, chair of the City Council’s transportation committee, said he prefers to “strictly discipline” drivers in the city.
“I am very much willing to discuss this matter under the committee on transportation, but as early as now I would like to say na ‘yong tatlong libo nga ang dami pa ring nagva-violate, ‘pag binabaan natin ito, babalik sa dating ugali ‘yong ating mga drivers. Ang kahilingan po natin dito ay ituloy na lang ito para ma-disiplina natin ‘yong ating mga drivers. This is not particularly for the tricycle drivers alone, kahit ‘yong mga private vehicles natin, ‘yong mga motorist natin, we need to impose discipline in order na maapaganda natin ‘yong ating lansangan. Hindi po tayo amenable na babaan dahil nakita naman natin P3,000 na ‘yong multa ang dami pa ring nagva-violate,” Amurao said.
He said lowering the penalty will only increase the propensity of the motorists to violate the law.
“Pero as of now hindi pa po napapanahon dahil hindi pa sila nadi-disiplina. Dapat magkaroon ng regulasyon as of now sa ating trapiko, huwag nating pabayaan na matulad tayo sa ibang lugar, particularly Manila, na ang experts, doctors of traffic management, hindi nila kayang harapin ang problema. Why? Pinabayaan nila ito ng mahabang panahon,” Amurao added.
The outgoing councilor said the issue was “twisted and used by his political rivals.”
On the other hand, Vice Mayor Luis Marcaida III said he wants the penalty for violations reduced, citing it was one of his platforms during the campaign.
Marcaida said there should also be a massive public awareness campaign regarding the amended traffic code.
The issue raised by Awat will be discussed by the next batch of councilors who will choose a new chairman for the transportation committee,” he said.
“Hindi na natuloy [na i-review na muna] dahil originally nire-refer ito sa committee ni councilor Amurao pero dahil nag-manifest si Councilor Amurao as chairman of transportation na hindi na muna siguro mai-refer sa kaniya, so aantayin natin ‘yong kasunod na council kung sino ‘yong magiging chairman ng committee on transportation,” said Marcaida.