The power of the City Traffic Management Office (CTMO) is limited by the local legislative council to avoid the discretionary designation of one-way streets and collection of pay parking fees to avoid confusion and violation of Puerto Princesa traffic ordinances.

City councilor Peter Maristela on Monday chided traffic enforcement officers for unilaterally designating one-way streets in the city.

“The CTMO is not giving the Sanggunian any proposal of work whenever we designate certain roads as one-way streets or even when they are conducting a dry-run. [There is] necessity to amend the ordinance in order to avoid the discretionary designation of one-way streets and collection of pay parking fees to avoid confusion and violation of ordinance by all means,” Maristela said.

Proposed ordinance SDO No. 172-200, sponsored by the Committee on Transportation chaired by Maristela, was passed on it third and final reading on Monday, amending Sections 41 and 65 of the City Ordinance No. 253, also known as the Traffic Management Code of Puerto Princesa.

The following were designated as one-way streets:
* Portion of E. Valencia Street with entrance at Manalo Street and exit point at Malvar Street
* Portion of H. Mendoza Street with entrance point from the corner of Rizal Avenue stretching up to Manalo Street
* Portion of Burgos Street with entrance at Malvar Street exiting to Rizal Avenue
* Bonoan Street with entrance at E. Valencia Street and exit point at Burgos Street
* Malvar Street with entrance point at E. Valencia Street exiting to Roxas Street, and from the gate of Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) to the corner of Concepcion Street

Lawyer-councilor Nesario Awat questioned the sufficiency of the period of notice and implementation by the CTMO, citing experimental period may not be enough for traffic study under certain circumstances.

“What if the period of one month is not sufficient for the CTMO to make the necessary recommendations because the proposed amendment is only limited to a period of one month? Suppose they cannot make the necessary recommendation within that period of one month because they need more time to further study,” Awat asked.

Maristela, however, insisted that at least a two-week experimental study of traffic schemes would be enough for the local traffic office to craft recommendations subject to the Council’s review.

“For valid designation of any vehicular traffic or portion as a one-way street, the CTMO shall submit a written notice to the Sangguniang Panlungsod to conduct a one-month experimental period. After a period of one month, the city traffic management office will submit a report and recommendations to the Sangguniang Panlungsod,” Maristela concluded.

The proposed amendment is yet to be signed by the local chief executive, mayor Lucilo Bayron.

(with a report from Jeshyl Guiroy)

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is a desk editor and senior reporter of Palawan News. He covers politics, environment, tourism, justice, and sports. In his free time, he enjoys long walks with his dog, Bayani.