Editorial: Capitol’s ‘focal person’ initiative

GOV. Hilario Davide III is notoriously slow in acting on some problems hounding his administration and even on complaints raised against some of his people but at least he is now taking an aggressive stance on the traffic situation in Metro Cebu. The change came with his appointment of a focal person on traffic management.

With Mayor Tomas Osmena’s refusal to join the Metro Cebu Development Authority (MCDA), the Provincial Government has been left on its own to coordinate efforts to manage traffic outside of Cebu City. But that does not mean Capitol is not capable of doing it. Having a focal person to do the job is a good first step.

And it looks like the governor appointed the right person in Jonathan Tumulak, who functioned as operations chief of the Cebu City Traffic Office (CCTO) under former mayor Michael Rama. Besides, Tumulak is the twin brother of Councilor Dave Tumulak, which makes coordination with Cebu City on traffic matters at the lower level easier. Dave is deputy mayor for police matters.

Jonathan was in Minglanilla to help the local government unit there manage the traffic during the Sugat-Kabanhawan festivities. It would be presumptuous to say he was the one who made a difference in Minglanilla’s management of the traffic at that time but his presence and his authority, being the governor’s man, must have had a calming effect on the town’s traffic managers.

Traffic management in many Metro Cebu areas, specifically in Minglanilla and San Fernando towns and even in the City of Naga is still in its nascent stage. With the traffic gridlocks hitting these areas from time to time, fast-tracking the capability of traffic managers there is necessary.

As for the more developed traffic management in Talisay and Mandaue cities, upgrading and coordination of efforts would help. Also, this is where linkage with the CCTO is also important.

The ideal is for the creation of a traffic authority even for Metro Cebu that would ensure coordination and oversee the further improvement in the capability of traffic managers in concerned local government units. Lacking that, the governor appointing somebody to focus on traffic management can be a good step in the interim.
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