City council committees to probe RTA, ‘Hapsay Dalan’

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Friday, September 5, 2014


THREE committees of the city council will conduct an investigation on the complaints from vendors who were allegedly harassed by the Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA) enforcers during the conduct of the Operation “Hapsay Dalan.”

These committees are the Economic Enterprise, Public Safety and Public Utility.

The issue was raised by city councilor Alexander Dacer during the executive session last Monday, September 1, 2014, where he suggested that Hapsay Dalan needs a proper investigation on complaints filed before him and to the city council by some vendors whose properties and products were confiscated by the RTA on “occasion.”

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“Whenever I buy fresh food in the market, some vendors would come up to me and complain about how they feel whenever these (RTA) officers would confiscate their belongings and products. Worse, the RTA allegedly burned some of their ‘kariton’ (carts),” Dacer told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro.

Dacer suggested that “diplomacy” is the key and not by implementing a forceful grip on the vendors to achieve 'Hapsay Dalan.'

“They could talk to these vendors; need not to shout, too. If these vendors always go back to the sidewalks and sell again, then it is clear that they have overlooked this recurring problem. Also, they should try briefing their officers in handling people because from these complaints, I do not think they have been properly trained,” he said.

Rey Santos (not his real name), a vendor of fruits, said that he witnessed how RTA officers apprehended his co-vendors whenever they conducted operations.

“They come by surprise and they do not consider anyone in their way. I am a sidewalk vendor but on wheels, so I can easily flee whenever I see them coming during their operations. But I have seen my co-vendors who were on the street side crying and became unintentionally violent whenever their items got confiscated,” Santos said and continued, “I do understand the government’s program in clearing us from the streets but they do not have to be forceful.”

Dacer said the complainants will file an affidavit against the RTA officers who allegedly harassed them.
He added that he has the names of the complainants and the RTA enforcers which he said he included in his special report last Monday.

In a statement sent to this paper through text message, RTA consultant Jose Edgardo Uy assured that RTA will investigate further.

“RTA will investigate, and it would help if Dacer will provide names of the RTA personnel involved, names of those who allegedly harassed, the time, acts complained of, etc.,” Uy said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 05, 2014.

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