THE Municipal Government of Minglanilla, Cebu will soon be clamping and towing vehicles illegally parked in some parts of the town.
The Minglanilla Municipal Council passed Ordinances 13 and 14, which authorize the Minglanilla Traffic Commission (Mitcom) to clamp and tow vehicles illegally parked in designated towing zones.
The two measures aim to decongest traffic by removing obstruction within the national highway and provincial and municipal roads.
During a public hearing yesterday, participants agreed to the two measures but urged town officials to amend some of the provisions, including giving motorists at least five minutes to park their vehicles in other areas before these are clamped or towed.
At least 50 people, including public officials and representatives of motor groups, attended the public hearing held at the Minglanilla Sports Complex in Barangay Poblacion Ward 1.
Ordinance 13 authorizes Mitcom to clamp vehicles that are parked in prohibited areas or vehicles that have been left unattended and are obstructing traffic.
A person whose vehicle has been clamped is required to pay an administrative penalty of P1,000. Failure to pay the penalty or tampering with the clamp will result to imprisonment of at least one to six months or a fine of not less than P5,000.
Ordinance 14 aims to declare certain streets in the town as “tow-away zones” and authorizes the towing of vehicles found parked there.
Minglanilla Municipal Councilor Jesus Velez, who chairs the committee on laws and ordinances, said that while the ordinances have yet to be implemented, they suggested 12 streets and thoroughfares in Minglanilla to be declared tow-away zones.
These are Natalio Bacalso Ave., provincial roads leading to Barangays Tulay and Vito; barangay access road from St. Cecilia’s College in Barangay Poblacion Ward 2 to the town sports complex; barangay access road from Dolor Mini Mart towards the Minglanilla Science High School in Barangay Poblacion Ward 1; and municipal roads leading to Sitio Tiber in Barangay Poblacion Ward 1; Sitio Lower Lipata in Barangay Linao-Lipata; Pakigne, Tungkil, Tubod, Calajoan, Tungkop and Tulay.
Francis Sanguenza, Mitcom acting operations head, said the number of tow-away zones could be increased, depending on the Municipal Government. Anyone caught parking in these areas will be required to pay P2,000 if they want to claim their vehicles.
The Municipal Government will also hire a private towing company for the implementation.
During the public hearing, the participants agreed that before a vehicle is towed, the violator must be given at least an hour to park his car elsewhere.
If the driver is not in the area, the enforcers have no choice but to tow the vehicle, Velez said.
Some participants were also concerned that parking lots of PUVs like tricycles and habal-habal, especially those in the national highway, could be affected.
But Velez said the Municipal Government plans to provide a terminal space for tricycles and habal-habal units.
Velez said business establishments are also urged to provide areas where they can unload their products without disrupting traffic. But for existing establishments, especially those situated in the national highway, the municipality will give them time to unload their products, Velez said.
Municipal vehicles are not exempted.
Minglanilla Mayor Elanito Peña said municipal vehicles, particularly those parked in front of the town hall, will be transferred elsewhere to avoid disrupting traffic.
Though the Municipal Traffic Code specifies that only vehicles with stickers provided by the town can park in front of the town hall, Peña wants everybody to be equally treated.
Peña said that if the two ordinances will be approved for implementation, these will not only help improve the town’s traffic situation but will also increase their revenue particularly in traffic violation fees.
Last year, the town collected at least P342, 000 in traffic violation fees, said Municipal Treasurer Silverio Cueva.
After the public hearing yesterday, a committee report will be submitted by Velez and fellow Municipal Councilors Jeremias Cañares, chairman of the committee on peace and order, for second reading.
Before second reading, the two ordinances will undergo preliminary discussion before the Minglanilla Municipal Council prior to their approval for third and final reading.
Velez said that if all goes well, the two ordinances could see implementation before the opening of the new school year in June. (JKV)