Raquel Arce, head of the Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO), was “shocked” to learn that one of the vehicles from her office was caught ferrying students to and from school on a daily basis.
She later admitted that the individual driving the vehicle is a uniformed personnel of the CCTO and that the vehicle is registered under her office.
Apparently she had no choice because the whole thing was caught on video.
Confronted by the embarrassing evidence, the public official told SunStar’s online news and commentary program, “Beyond the Headlines,” that she would investigate the incident.
Then she had the gall to ask the public not to immediately judge the guilty person even though personal use of a government vehicle is prohibited under Administrative Order 239, Series of 2008.
She said she knew the act was wrong, but... Well, the Cebu City Government under Mayor Michael Rama’s Singapore-like-vision directive cannot have it both ways.
This is the same woman who went to the temporary van-for-hire terminal in Barangay Kamagayan last April 29, 2023, and gave v-hire operators, drivers and vendors in the facility half an hour to vacate or else.
No ifs, ands, or buts.
After all, the City had every right to shut down the terminal. So what if it didn’t give all the stakeholders, including the riding public, any heads up. That would have given all those concerned some time to prepare, but no, the City would have none of that nonsense.
Because in a Singapore-like Cebu City, rules are rules and these must be followed. With no exception.
Unless, you work for Arce in the CCTO.
But why would she ask the public not to immediately judge the guilty driver?
It’s probably because the poor guy was just doing what he was ordered to do.
If indeed he works as a driver for the CCTO, then he wouldn’t have the authority to commandeer one of the office’s vehicles to ferry several schoolchildren to and from school.
That means the students are children of higher-ranked CCTO officials.
Or, the driver is a higher-ranked CCTO official, and who would dare question him?
The fact that the violation has been going on for quite some time only means that someone else in the CCTO knew what was going on.
It begs to question Arce’s effectiveness as head of the office if she doesn’t know where one of its vehicles is at a particular time of the day every day for five days.
I mean I’d understand if the incident happened only once or even twice.
Sometimes it just can’t be helped. But to happen on a regular basis, that’s another thing.
The Cebu City Government should immediately give the erring driver the boot, and file administrative charges against him and the others who are involved.
It cannot handle erring personnel with kid gloves and treat everyone else with disrespect as if their lives don’t matter.
May 26, 2023
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