"PERFUNCTORY" aptly describes Citom’s plan to spearhead with traffic education seminars its plan to strictly enforce traffic rules vs. habal-habals. What would not have been perfunctory is to just do it and strictly enforce traffic rules. Seminars are routine and superficial and thus have never been effective in the past even with better-educated drivers.

Whenever my driver sees someone acting like an asshole in traffic, he invariably tells me “kulang sa seminar, sir.” Yet, I’ve had to teach him many rules of the road he didn’t learn from the seminars he attended. Like he only learned from me what yellow lines and zebra lanes are for, etc.

Also, when my American brother-in-law asked me, “What are the white lines on the road for?” I couldn’t understand why he asked because US streets have the same white lines. Until he went on to say “I don’t see anybody using them; everybody drives as if the lines are not there.” Come to think of it, a lot of money is wasted painting those white lines that nobody uses.

The operative reality is that Filipino drivers violate traffic rules when no enforcer is looking or when enforcers either don’t mind, are helpless or known to cotton to petty bribes. If you want an illustration of the chaos this creates try the Tabunok market. Utterly helpless against habal-habals, tricycles and trisikads that are using the road like they own it, traffic enforcers do nothing more than wave four-wheeled vehicles on when the road somehow clears.

And how about checking this out? Who could be more and better educated than our wolf-in-sheepskin politicians who went to the best (Catholic?) schools here and abroad? But did that prevent them from stealing people’s money? Heck no. What is stopping them now is indictment in a court of law and imprisonment without bail while awaiting trial.

Moreover, is their top-notch education (a hundred times better than seminars, you would think) stopping our public officials from cheating and vote-buying during elections? No again. What will stop them is afiercely independent Commission on Elections just doing it and strictly implementing election laws.

Or why do you think Davao City is clean, orderly and safe? Because Mayor Rodrigo Duterte strictly implements ordinances like no smoking, no littering, no drug pushing and no thieving in the city. I am not necessarily endorsing his unorthodox, to say the least, methods but I have to give it to the guy. He, unlike the run of local executives, has the gumption to just do it.

Nothing perfunctory will clear up Cebu’s traffic mess. Routine and superficial traffic education seminars will not stop drivers from creating a mess in traffic. Citom should just do it and strictly enforce the rules.