THERE are two proposed ordinances drafted by neophyte 6th District Provincial Board (PB) Member Glenn Anthony Soco in an aim to solve the traffic problem in the province. First is his photo ordinance. If he has his way, he will require all drivers who figure in minor vehicular accidents to take photos and videos so they can pull out immediately their vehicles so as not to cause traffic. I think this is similar to that “crazy ordinance” proposed by Talisay City Councilor Ferdinand Rabaya, which would have required vehicle owners to bring their own chalk or crayon or maybe charcoal so that if they meet minor accidents they will do their own markings in the accident site. But after getting flack from the public, Rabaya withdrew his proposed ordinance.
In order to ease traffic caused by minor traffic accidents, Soco wants parties involved in a collision to take videos and photos of their vehicles and the accident scene and pull out their vehicles right away. He cited the Master Plan and institutional Development on Urban Transport System in Metro Cebu which showed that an average of 1,235 road accidents are recorded in Metro Cebu every month. He said “measures must be made to improve and speed up response and how quickly we can ease traffic after a road accident while efficiently preserving the facts and circumstances of a possible crime or incident.” Under his draft legislation, it is the responsibility of the driver who figured in a road accident to take photos and videos.
For me, this is another crazy proposal. Maybe Soco thinks that all drivers have smartphones or cameras. What about those who have no high-end phones? Soco forgot that his ordinance, if passed, will cover the entire province and not only his constituents in the sixth district, where there are so many rich and middle-class residents, will be affected. Besides, will insurance companies honor photos and videos sans police report?
Second, Soco wants to penalize vehicle owners whose cars stall or encounter mechanical problems on the road as they also cause traffic congestion. He cited again a study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), which said that the economic losses attributable to traffic has reached P1 billion a day in Metro Cebu.
But wait. Have you noticed, since Soco became chairman of the Utilities and Infrastructures Development Committee of the Regional Development Council (RDC 7) prior to his election as PB member, he is projecting himself as technically knowledgeable. He based his move on studies and researches conducted by reputable institutions like Jica. But are these studies applicable in our local setting where most of the people are living below the poverty line?
What Soco did not mention in that Jica study was that the losses in economy reached P1 billion a day when the Mambaling flyover was still under construction.
In that study, Jica recommended how to solve traffic congestion like road widening, more flyovers and efficient traffic system. He should address these recommendations first.
People in the sixth district made a mistake in electing Soco to the PB. He should have been appointed in the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) or in the Economic Board because he is very fond of figures and formula.
He said he noticed that in some instances, when a delivery truck or a private car experiences trouble in the middle of congested highways, a traffic gridlock ensues for several hours. The traffic jam is only be untangled when the stalled vehicle is removed or has recovered from the trouble.
For me, this proposed ordinance is not only nonsense but it is also anti-poor. Again, maybe Soco thinks all people can afford to fix or overhaul their vehicles to be always in tip-top condition or buy new vehicles. Good for him that he can afford to buy the most expensive vehicle in the world because he is an oligarch.
In fact, he rides high-end, flashy vehicles and very expensive vintage cars. He is one of those few “who’s-who in Cebu” and belongs to a circle of rich people like his buddy, Regional Development Council co-chairman Kenneth Cobonpue who also owns expensive cars.
Can we predict any unexpected mechanical defects in our cars? We don’t even know when our battery will be totally discharged? We cannot prevent a breakdown.
I would like to suggest to our legislators to come up with ideas and make legislation that are necessary, practical and beneficial to the people; not crazy and nonsense ideas like the proposals of Soco. Ayaw lang palabi sa imong personal nga gibati diha sa PB, Boss Glenn. Hunahunaa tawon pud ang mga kabus nga maigo sa imong hinanggaw nga mga balaodnon.