Photo shows PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde arriving on a motorcycle at a voting center in Batasan Hills, Quezon City to monitor the barangay elections in May 2018.
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No-contact traffic apprehension nets Oscar Albayalde
Robertzon Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - June 22, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) has been cited for a traffic violation.

Gen. Oscar Albayalde disclosed yesterday that he received the citation last month from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) for two violations: one for ignoring a traffic sign on yellow lanes and the other for ignoring the regulations on the use of the lane along the southbound portion of EDSA near Boni Avenue in Mandaluyong.

The PNP chief, however, told “The Chiefs” on Cignal TV’s One News channel last night that the incident cited in the violation occurred in February last year, when he had already sold his converted gray Nissan Skyline that figured in the yellow lane incident.

Albayalde said he got in touch with the MMDA to inform the agency about the sale of the car over a year ago. He told the MMDA that the new owner would have to settle the MMDA fine of P500 – P150 for disregarding the traffic sign and P350 for the yellow lane violation itself.  

The PNP chief noted that some of the spots where no-contact apprehensions are being implemented are impractical and leave no room for periods when motorists are compelled to take measures to avoid heavy traffic in Metro Manila.

This year, 377,429 traffic violators were apprehended by the MMDA from January to May through its no-contact apprehension – 361,714 more than the 15,715 violators in the same period in 2018.

The MMDA attributed the increase to its intensified efforts to discipline motorists on major thoroughfares.

Some local government units have also implemented similar schemes, collecting fines for the city or municipality.

In certain areas such as Parañaque, however, motorists have complained that the scheme has become mainly a fund-raising scheme for the city government and has in fact aggravated traffic.

The motorists point out, among others, that since no-contact apprehension was implemented along the junction where Sucat Road becomes Ninoy Aquino Avenue, there has always been a long line of northbound vehicles waiting to turn left to Kabihasnan and Coastal Road on the single lane allotted for this, leaving underused the three other lanes where traffic is always light.

During the first quarter of 2019, the MMDA apprehended 272,440 motorists for violating the yellow lane policy; 41,641 for disregarding loading and unloading zones; 20,070 for disregarding traffic signs; 12,604 for illegal parking and 11,588 for violating the number coding scheme.

The MMDA said that 7,659 were apprehended for violating the closed-door policy; 5,370 for disregarding motorcycle lanes; 2,831 for obstruction; 1,457 for failure to comply with the dress code for public vehicles; 728 for “roof tagging” and 418 in connection with the anti-distracted driving act.  

Some 370 motorcycle drivers were apprehended for not wearing crash helmets and 253 were apprehended for reckless driving.

The MMDA installed closed-circuit television cameras along major thoroughfares in Metro Manila to apprehend vehicles violating traffic rules, laws and regulations and to supplement the number of traffic enforcers on the road.

Under its no-contact apprehension policy, the MMDA summons traffic violators through registered mail. The citation can be contested before its adjudication board. If the citation is not settled, the violator’s name may be included in an “alarm list” of the Land Transportation Office (LTO). A vehicle on the LTO list cannot be registered until the issue is settled.

MMDA traffic czar Bong Nebrija said they do not disclose the identities of those who violate traffic rules, laws and regulations, including those caught through no-contact apprehension.

He emphasized that such matters should be tackled only by the MMDA and concerned parties.

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