Wednesday July 18, 2018

Sanchez: Rules in the streets

BACOLOD'S street is now starting like an ordered system.

It has been weeks now since the anti-jaywalking and the anti-no helmet campaign began. Bacoleños are learning by doing. Or walk the talk.

Try jaywalking downtown. Either a fool parts with his money by paying a fine. Or do community work. Either way, Bacolod is following the rules, not based on national laws, but on city ordinances.

And the local government is earning revenues. The Bacolod Traffic Authority Office (BTAO) has collected P1.5 million in fines from traffic violations here since January 2017.

From April 13 to 19, a whopping 1,008 pedestrians had to pay fines of P100 for first offense, where BTAO generated P180,000. Woot, woot!

Violators of City Ordinance 338, or the Comprehensive Traffic Ordinance, paid penalties where drivers think they can park or pick up passengers. They found out that they have a thing coming.

The wonders of wonders, traffic is now decongested. All it took was political will to enforce city ordinances.

Recently, I saw a No Smoking sticker in a jeep. Oh how I would love to see BTAO officers fine drivers of provincial utility vehicles who think Republic Act 9211 is a piece of paper to be used inside the john.

Caveat to these drivers. Would you like to butt heads with City Ordinance 251, Series of 2000, that requires owners/drivers of Public Utility Vehicles in Bacolod City to install a trash/litter receptacle with lid in a conspicuous area inside the vehicle?

Many jeepneys are already ignoring this ordinance. Git 'em, BTAO'S Superintendent Luisito Acebuche. Crack the whip!

You begin to wonder what Land Transportation Authority has been doing to enforce the no-helmet ban. Or the seat belt law. Are they sleeping on their jobs?

And oh yes, let's not forget City Ordinance No. 596 of Bacolod City prohibiting the indiscriminate throwing and dumping of garbage, rubbish or any kind of waste in open or public places. Any person violating the fine shall be penalized P500 or perform a community service of one day.

Harsh? Sed lex dura lex. The law is harsh but it's the law, I learned in second year high school when the curriculum still called the subject Social Studies.

If our Bacolod local government can impose this, we are becoming living witnesses of a rule of laws, not of men and women who think they can flout the law.