THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 yesterday said that local government units (LGUs) can regulate traffic in their areas based on the Local Government Code, including a temporary ban on private vehicles.
DPWH 7 Director Ador Canlas said that Section 458, paragraph V and VI of the Local Government Code provides that LGUs shall regulate the use of streets, avenues, alleys, sidewalks, bridges, parks and other public places, and shall approve the construction, improvement, repair and maintenance of the same.
Canlas said that LGUs can regulate traffic on all streets and bridges; prohibit encroachments or obstacles thereon, and when necessary, in the interest of the public welfare, authorize the removal or encroachment and illegal construction in public places.
Canlas’ comment was sought after Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña announced that he will ban private cars during peak hours starting Dec. 4 while work on the P638-million underpass on N. Bacalso Ave., Mambaling, Cebu City is ongoing.
Natalio Bacalso Ave. is a national highway, which means it is owned by the DPWH on behalf of the National Government. The project is being implemented by the DPWH.
Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella said that Mayor Osmeña was not authorized by the City Council to do so.
He said that as a mayor, Osmeña has 30 days to experiment on a road or traffic management scheme.
He said that if private cars are banned from N. Bacalso Ave. starting on Dec. 4, Osmeña would needs the City Council’s approval by Jan. 4, or it will be a violation of the law.
Labella cited the case of a GT Express (vans-for-hire) terminal in Barangay Kamagayan that prompted some councilors to file charges against Osmeña for establishing a terminal without the council’s approval.
Councilor Jose Daluz and Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) President Philip Zafra said that the City Council did not give the mayor such an authority.
Councilor Joel Garganera said that the mayor is just doing damage control.
“He doesn’t want that all motorists and riding public will get mad at him. At least he can get the sympathy of the commuters of PUVs (public utility vehicles),” said Garganera. (EOB)