THE opposition councilors in Cebu City said they are not against Mayor Tomas Osmeña’s executive order (EO) that punishes those who counter-flow.
In a news conference yesterday, Councilor Pastor Alcover Jr. said they only want the mayor to review the harsh punishment imposed under EO 34.
“What we’re questioning is the penalty. We don’t question the intention of the mayor to discipline the driver and maintain an orderly traffic. But we want him to review what really counter-flow means because it’s not in the traffic code,” he said.
Councilor Raymond Garcia, for his part, believes that the penalty of those who will be caught counter-flowing is “too much.”
“It’s not proportionate with the offense,” he said.
The EO provides that the vehicles of drivers who will be caught counter-flowing will be impounded for a month.
Garcia said he plans to amend the penalties of City Ordinance (CO) 801 or the Traffic Code of Cebu City by increasing the fine from P500 to P2,000.
Councilor Joel Garganera, for his part, said that exemptions to the policy must also be expressly stated under the EO.
Osmeña said only emergency vehicles such as ambulances, patrol cars, fire trucks and vehicles of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology that are legitimately using their sirens will be exempted in the implementation of the EO.
Most of the motorist admitted that they have tried counter-flowing but are supportive of Osmeña’s EO.
Ricardo Cinco Jr., a jeepney driver, said that he sees the move as a way to discipline the city’s motorists.
“Sauna mu-counterflow ko samot nag hawan sa pikas dalan. Pero karun, dili na. Lisod kaayo oy. Naa sa SRP ibutang. Dali kaayo na tayaon,” he said.
Provincial Board (PB) Member Christopher “Dong” Baricuatro is also supportive of the mayor’s policy.
“Hopefully, the other cities will follow. Safety first,” he said.
Jan Adrian Quisido, a student and a driver, said he is also in favor of the EO because of the presence of irresponsible drivers.
PB Member Jonkie Ouano, for his part, said he backs the EO to instill discipline among drivers.
“But just to avoid any untoward incidents, we just need to follow the law,” he said. (RVC, USJ-R Intern Rolyn May Jumao-as)