Traffic ordinances in Manila valid-A A +A
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
MANILA – The traffic ordinances implemented by the local government units (LGUs) were valid as these should work with the regulations of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO), according to the Court of Appeals (CA).
The 16-page decision penned by Associate Justice Edwin Sorongon denied the petition filed by various transport groups for the issuance of a writ of mandamus directing the MMDA to immediately draw up, install and administer a “single ticketing system” for all traffic violations in the metropolis, in compliance with the provisions of Section 5 (f) of Republic Act R.A. 7924 (MMDA law).
Concurring with Justice Sorongon are Associate Justices Hakim Abdulwahid and Marlene Gonzales-Sison.
Petitioners said the traffic ordinances of respondent LGUs – the cities of Quezon City, Manila, Makati, Navotas, Las Piñas, Taguig, Pasig, Pasay, Valenzuela; San Juan, Parañaque, Caloocan, Muntinlupa, Mandaluyong and the municipality of Pateros – are unconstitutional and offensive of the laws creating the LTO (Republic Act 4136) and MMDA.
The petition came about after the different LGUs, between the years 2003 and 2005, each enacted their respective traffic ordinances to regulate traffic within their respective jurisdictions and providing penalties for various violations.
One common provision among these ordinances was that violators would be issued an Ordinance Violation Receipt (OVR) by a duly deputized traffic enforcement officer who shall confiscate driver’s licenses and the issued receipt shall serve as temporary license for five working days from date of issuance.
According to the transport groups led by the Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (Fejodap), the enacted ordinances constitute unlawful deprivation of property since the MMDA and LTO already have their own ticketing systems.
But the appellate court’s sixth division ruled that the assailed ordinances are constitutional and are not contrary to RAs 4136 and 7294; in fact several provisions in these ordinances were based from the provisions of the Local Government Code (RA 7160) which provided the legal framework for their validity.
Further citing the ruling of the Supreme Court in MMDA against Garin, the CA said the MMDA is clothed only with administrative powers and not with police power, thus the power to regulate traffic and legislate laws for its effective management is still vested with the LGUs, as provided under the LGC, the CA said.
It added the OVRs being issued by the LGUs was not done in violation of the single ticketing system under Section 5 (f) of the MMDA law.
“It cannot be denied that since each of said laws (creating LGUs) has their specific boundaries, there is no issue of conflict to speak of. RA 7294 governs the delivery of metro-wide services whereas the authority of the concerned LGUs to enact the assailed ordinances was a necessary effect of the delegation by Congress of its law making power,” the CA said.
The Court also said that Section 5 (f) of RA 7294 is “much still a good law waiting to be enforced and utilized for the benefit of the general public.” (JCV/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)