THE Mandaue City Government’s plan to prohibit wearing bonnet and other garments that would cover the face of motorcycle riders drew mixed reactions from various sectors during a public hearing yesterday.
An ordinance disallowing the use of bonnet, ski-masks, headdress or anything that would conceal the face of rivers and passengers of motorcycles and tricycles within Mandaue was earlier proposed to the City Council.
Councilor Elstone Dabon, one of the sponsors of the ordinance, said several crimes that happened in the city were not resolved because perpetrators could not be identified because they wore bonnets.
“This is one way to address the problem and to protect the Mandauehanons,” said Dabon in Cebuano.
Other proponents of the ordinance were Vice Mayor Carlo Fortuna, Councilor Demetrio Cortes and Councilor Nilo Seno.
Marjun Tacder, a volunteer of Motorcycle Rights Organization, said his group strongly disagrees on the proposed ordinance because it can be a health risk for the riders and it may not be effective to stop crimes.
“To conclude, we see that this proposed ordinance is not only a health-hazard ordinance, it will probably be ineffective. So it’s a lose-lose situation for the innocents and the criminal still wins. We strongly oppose this proposed ordinance because we think this may lead to a plethora of ineffective ordinances that will be additionally proposed,” a part of MRO’s position paper read.
Another motorcycle rider suggested that the traffic enforcer can just flag down the driver and call his attention to remove the mask he/she is wearing.
Dabon, Seno, City Legal Officer Omar Redula and Gleen Antigua, the chief for operations of the Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue, served as the officials that led the public hearing.
Contrary to the riders sentiments, Centro Barangay Captain Ian Cortes asked those who opposed to adjust if the ordinance will be passed because people in Mandaue will benefit this.
SPO1 Joel Katapas of the Highway Patrol Group said it would ease their workloads for they will easily identify culprits in a crime that uses motorcycles.
Antigua said it was not the first time that such ordinance was passed in a local government unit.
He said an ordinance prohibiting the covering of face is implemented in Consolacion.
Redula said the discussion during the public hearing will be deliberated during the session of the City Council before the ordinance will be approved. (FMG)