Penalizing commuters

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Friday, June 20, 2014


HUNDREDS of jeepney drivers and operators held a transport protest last Thursday, paralyzing about 80 percent of public transport in Metro Cebu, one report said.

They were protesting against a new schedule of fines for traffic violations imposed by the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) of at least P1,000 for erring drivers and P1 million for colorum bus operators.

They had to walk under the sweltering heat of the sun from the Fuente Osmeña to the LTO 7 office on Natalio Bacalso Ave.. The transport officials were in their airconditioned offices.

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Who really suffers every time transport groups hold a strike, all right, a protest?

It’s the ordinary commuter who has to go to work every day to earn a living, like the drivers.

The protest left hundreds of commuters stranded. Many were late in reporting for work because most of the jeepneys suddenly vanished, without any advance notice, from the streets.

Do the protesters really think one day of protest can bend DOTC’s rules? So, they’d hold another protest and let the commuters suffer some more?

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Transport officials said there is an easy way for drivers to avoid paying the P1,000 fine for traffic violations.

All they have to do is to follow traffic rules. That way, they don’t need to worry if there are traffic enforcers hiding in some street corner.

Why, if one day all drivers will follow the traffic rules, even traffic enforcers would lose their jobs.

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I was in Puerto Princesa, Palawan when Ed Hagedorn was mayor many years ago, with fellow members of the Cebu media.

I noticed that drivers follow traffic rules even when there were no policemen or traffic enforcers manning traffic.

Let’s see if the same happens here with the P1,000 fine.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 21, 2014.

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