BAD weather conditions in the city and the lack of manpower at the Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) have both led to fewer traffic apprehensions in the month of October 2022 compared to the month of September.

Newly installed CCTO acting department head Raquel Arce told SunStar Cebu on Friday, Nov. 4, that citation tickets issued against traffic violators in October reduced by more than half compared to the previous month.

Data showed that only 12,186 tickets were issued in October compared to the 21,898 violation tickets issues to erring drivers in September.

A total of 231 motorcycles, 192 electronic bikes, 12 private vehicles, and one trailer truck were impounded; while 609 vehicles were clamped during the CCTO’s day and night anti-illegal parking operation.

Arce said although it is possible that drivers have now become more disciplined, the heavy rains last October made it difficult for the CCTO to conduct more operations.

The inclement weather also prevented many motorists from leaving home, Arce added.

Arce also noted that only a few traffic personnel manned the streets in October due to the delay in the renewal of their employment contracts.

Arce said the CCTO now has enough manpower to properly perform its functions.

There are around 500 employees at the CCTO including traffic enforcers and office personnel.

Cases filed

Meanwhile, despite the drop in the number of traffic apprehensions last October, Arce noticed a rise in the number of cases filed against violators who failed to settle their penalties within the 60-day given period.

The CCTO filed lawsuits against 88 violators in October— twice the number of cases filed last September which was 43.

“When I took over the CCTO, I noticed a lot of backlog in our legal division,” said Arce in Cebuano.

Arce also plans to bring the Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification and Enhancement (Probe) team under the CCTO’s umbrella noting that some Probe functions such as apprehending trisikad and electronic bicycles (e-bike) drivers plying undesignated routes are duplications of the CCTO mandate.

The Probe team, currently also headed by Arce, is a special body operating under the Office of the City Mayor.

The team has three regular employees, 20 casuals and 100 job order workers.

Arce has served as head of the Probe team from 2012 to 2016, and from 2018 up to the present.

She is also overseer of the City’s market office.

Arce said she will be proposing that the Probe team be made a division under the CCTO.

“I will push for that so that there will be no more duplication of functions and we can just focus on one department,” she said.