Editorial: Implementation is the problem

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Monday, July 21, 2014


PEOPLE who didn’t read the news last Friday probably braced for another transport strike yesterday. Transport groups have been restive for several months now over Joint Administrative Order (JAO) 2014-01 that imposes higher penalties for traffic violations.

Actually two groups--the National Confederation of Transportworkers Union (NCTU) and the Cebu Integrated Transport Service Cooperatives (Citrasco)—announced the holding of the strike. The turnaround came when NCTU representatives met with officials of the Department of Transportation and communications (DOTC), Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

Another group, the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston), distanced itself from the NCTU and Citrasco move and instead held a protest action at the Mandaue City Hall to prod city officials to support the opposition to JAO 2014-01.

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NCTU claimed that the meeting with DOTC, LTO and LTFRB resulted in the officials of the said agencies promising to review the administrative order. That should lessen the tension although that won’t solve the problem that JAO 2014-01 wanted to deal with.

The imposition of higher penalties is not a guarantee that traffic violations would be minimized. The laying down of laws and rules is only one aspect of the issue.

The other aspect is implementation. And by that we mean the no-nonsense type.

The reason why drivers violate traffic laws and rules is not that they do not fear these. They do, even if penalties for traffic violations are not high. But because of the many instances wherein they could get away with violating these laws and rules, they become daring in playing a cat-and-mouse game with traffic enforcers.

Drivers of public utility vehicles are notorious for these violations. They stop to pick up passengers everywhere, slow down when the traffic light is green so they can stop at pedestrian crossings when the red light is on, etc. Operators, meanwhile, dare to field colorum vehicles to jack up profits.

As long as imposition of traffic laws and rules remains shoddy, mostly because of corruption, traffic violations will never be lessened.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 22, 2014.

Opinion

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