Espinoza: Is politics the culprit?

CONTINUITY in the implementation of laws or ordinances is a big issue or concern in the police organization, government agencies and local government units. Just look at Cebu City Ordinance (CO) 2031, which mandates solid waste segregation at source, and CO 1361, which imposes fines on those not following the correct schedule of garbage collection.

When these two city ordinances were first implemented to the letter in 2011, violators were served with a violation ticket and fined. As a result, everyone observed the said ordinances. A year after the implementation was discontinued.

Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CCENRO) head Nida Cabrera blamed this on politics. She said she was set aside after a new body, Gubat sa Basura, which was headed by Councilor Edu Rama, was created. But I only learned about Gubat sa Basura when Cabrera mentioned it. The “war on trash,” with due respect to the proponent, was all for propaganda only.

The previous administration was perhaps concerned with the plight of the garbage collectors that it allowed to do the segregation right on the garbage truck and sell the recyclables to trash buyers. This was one of the reasons collection was delayed as separating the trash takes time. Garbage collectors even use the trucks in delivering their goodies to the junk yards.

It’s not too late to implement again the two ordinances to put order on our streets. Cleanliness and sanitation is not the concern solely of the government. Somehow, it is the lackadaisical enforcement of these ordinances that some residents have taken advantage of. To everyone and on this Valentine’s Day, let’s not wait for the city government to enforce these ordinances before we comply. Let’s do our share in making our city clean and livable.

I certainly agree that too much politicking by the executives jeopardizes law and order. Look at Mandaue City Mayor Luigi Quisumbing. His relatives have complained that he is too strict in enforcing the laws. But this is the kind of leader we need to execute the laws or ordinance without fear or favor.

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña is also the object of complaints for being strict in enforcing city ordinances. On Monday, several motorists complained against the strict implementation of the counterflow ordinance. Some maintain, though, that the mayor’s order to impounds motor vehicles that “counter-flow” is illegal. But we will leave the court to decide on that.

The implementation of the ordinance is laudable as it is meant to put back sanity on the road. Every day we see motorcycle drivers go against the flow of traffic because traffic enforcers just look the other way. Driving against the flow of traffic is considered reckless driving under the traffic code or RA 4136 and the penalty is between P1,500 to P2,000. The fine under the city ordinance is only P500.

But I am more concerned with how traffic enforcers enforce this ordinance. They should undergo re-orientation because not all those “driving left” or driving against the flow of traffic are wrong. Driving left or “counter-flow” only applies when the road or street is demarcated with yellow solid lines. There is no violation when one drives left on broken white center lines as long as the opposite lane is clear.

By the way, advance happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
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