Briones: Hands full

I WAS actually relieved that Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña has decided to take his finger out of the pie that is the war against illegal drugs.

It's a nationwide drive with the full backing of the President so it doesn't really matter if Osmeña is on or off the bandwagon.

Anyway, the National Government will be providing all the necessary logistics that the police force will need to do their job, according to a friend who happens to be a cop.

So there you go. Osmeña can once again be a big fish in a small pond that is Cebu City, which has other pressing concerns aside from criminality, such as traffic, garbage collection and flooding… to name a few.

In fairness to the mayor, he has started addressing the traffic problem when he announced that illegally parked vehicles will be towed. Yup, towing, which was suspended in 2010, is or will be back soon.

Once the City picks the winning bidder, vehicles, like those that insist on parking on both sides of Junquera St.--you know, the one in front of the Chinese school and that great ngohiong place—turning a three-lane, one-way road into a choke point will be a thing of the past.

There's also that stretch of R. Landon beside Cebu Normal University where vehicles occupy one lane of the two-lane road leading to Jones. You know, the one right in front of the Fessags 7 office. I walk to Abellana almost every day to jog and I end up dodging running vehicles because pedestrians like me are forced to the road to go around these double parkers.

I'm pretty sure the Cebu City Transportation Office can make a killing if it strictly implements the traffic ordinance.

And oh, don't get me started on counter-flowing vehicles. So I won't. But boy, sometimes I'm tempted to run through all those motorcycles from the opposing lane that don't seem to care that they're encroaching on yours. And it's not just motorcycles. Sometimes, taxis and private vehicles also think their need to get to their destinations is greater than that of all the law-abiding motorists who patiently sit through traffic.

Anyway, Osmeña has his hands full even without sourgraping over the loss of his city police chief and his recommendee at the Police Regional Office 7.

Take garbage collection, for example. I know the mayor has just been in office for less than a month so I'm not blaming him for the problem. But it needs to be addressed. Immediately.

In Sambag 1, garbage is collected maybe once in 10 days. And I'm being nice with my estimate. The problem is exacerbated by some selfish residents who, because they can't stand the foul smell right in their own backyard, dump their trash in one corner of Urgello St. to stink up the whole neighborhood.

Osmeña already said the City plans to outsource collection and lease garbage trucks. He also said the City will soon take over garbage collection.

As for flooding… there hasn't been much brouhaha because it hasn't rained in a week. But wait till it does.


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