More traffic lights ‘will help protect’ Citom enforcers

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014


THE Cebu City Council wants the City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) to add more traffic lights in the city.

This will spare traffic enforcers the risk of being on the road to manage traffic.

In privilege speech yesterday, Councilor Gerardo Carillo, chairperson of the council committee on traffic management, lamented the death of traffic aide Ma. Theresa Bascones.

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Bascones died last week after a vehicle, which was driven by a Korean national, hit her along the Banilad-Talamban corridor. She suffered severe head injuries.

“Honorable colleagues, we live in an interesting and highly-modernized environment.

But how is this even possible that there are some areas in our city that don’t have any traffic lights. A traffic enforcer has to stand on a particular road to keep the traffic moving smoothly because there is no traffic light at all,” Carillo said.

Morale

Quoting Citom Executive Director Rafael Yap, the councilor said the death of Bascones has lowered the morale of traffic enforcers.

Worse, when the driver of the vehicle that hit Bascones was freed after posting bail of P30,000 on the charge of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide.

Carillo, moreover, is asking the executive department to study the possibility of providing accident insurance to the traffic enforcers.

The councilor believes traffic enforcers need additional benefits because of occupational hazards.

Aside from accidents, Carillo said traffic enforcers face health risks as they are exposed to toxic fumes as well as threats from drivers who are being apprehended for traffic violations.

Acting Mayor Edgardo Labella had said he wanted accident insurance to be given to the traffic enforcers.

Human Resource and Development Office Chief Dominic Diño said this can be done provided that the City Government will set aside funds.

Valid

Yap, in an interview yesterday, said Carillo’s observations are well-taken.

For the accident insurance, Yap said the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management of Council (CCDRRMC) had asked for the list of names of traffic enforcers so they will be included in the accident group insurance.

CCDRRMC presiding officer Councilor Dave Tumulak earlier said they have P1 million for accident insurance this year.

As for the additional traffic lights, Yap said the suggestion is welcome, but said there are still instances when traffic enforcers will still have to be deployed in the middle of the road.

This includes peak hours where the volume of traffic is heavy.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 24, 2014.

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