Cebu News

Most Metro Cebu LGUs don’t have traffic code

Odessa O. Leyson, Lorraine Mitzi Ambrad - The Freeman
Most Metro Cebu LGUs don�t have traffic code
JICA has encouraged all LGUs in Metro Cebu to have its own traffic code to better address the problem.

CEBU, Philippines — Most of the local government units in Metro Cebu do not have its own traffic code to better manage the traffic problem, which is causing at least P132 million in economic lost daily, according to a study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

JICA has encouraged all LGUs in Metro Cebu to have its own traffic code to better address the problem. It was found out yesterday during the traffic management summit organized by the Metro Cebu Development Coordinating Board (MCDCB) that only eight of the 13 LGUs in the Metro Cebu have traffic code. These include cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay, and Danao and the towns of Minglanilla, Consolacion, Liloan, and Compostela.

Engr. Lynn Madrona of JICA said that all the other LGUs have already drafted their own proposed local traffic code but are yet to be approved by their respective councils. She continued that establishing a traffic code would be substantial in managing the traffic flow in their respective localities.

In one of the studies by JICA, the unresolved traffic congestion in Metro Cebu has precipitated the loss of at least P132 million a day.

With this in mind, the MCDCB organized the traffic management summit yesterday which was attended by representatives from Land Transportation Office -7, Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board -7, Department of Tourism-7, Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority, and other traffic stakeholders. All except Cebu City sent their traffic czars as well.

Jonathan Tumulak, focal person for traffic management of the Capitol, said that the secretariat (Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc.) will consolidate the key points during the whole day of discussion. After which, the report will be sent to the governor and will be copy furnished to the LGUs, including Cebu City.

He said that they will have to check and coordinate with the concerned agencies or office before another general forum will be held to discuss what key points need to be integrated or changed in the existing traffic codes of each town or city to create a unified traffic system.

Tumulak highlighted the importance of coordination and harmonization of the traffic codes of the neighboring cities and/or towns in order to address the worsening traffic conditions within the metropolitan area.

Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III said he respects the decision of Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña not to attend the summit.

“That’s fine with us. We respect the decision of the (Cebu) City government and Mayor Osmeña,” he said.

“Naa may (traffic) ordinance ang Cebu City. This we will check as well as those with the other municipalities. After ana, atong i-benchmark and i-compare and diri sa mga workshops we’ll find out where we can unite,” he continued, emphasizing that traffic is a common problem among all Metro Cebu LGUs.

Liloan Mayor Cristina Frasco also expressed that she recognized the importance of the cooperation among all LGUs to manage the traffic problem. But, she emphasized that the local government units should be given the leeway to exercise their power under the general welfare of the Local Government Code.

“So, if we are able to find a way to harmonize these efforts to synchronize traffic management while still respecting local autonomy then I think that would work well for everybody,” she said.

Osmeña said he is open to review traffic projects that MCDCB will be working on as long as these are desirable to the city.

“I have to listen to all the bullshit they have to offer. If it’s good, okay lang. If it’s bad, no way,” Osmeña said.

The traffic management summit aims to come up with uniform traffic rules that can help address the traffic problem in Metro Cebu.

But, Osmeña emphasized that he doesn't want to be under MCDCB or Mega Cebu, describing the group as “self-proclaimed experts.”

“I am just making it clear. I don’t go under them… they cannot make me Mega Cebu. How can they make Mega Cebu without Cebu City? That’s a trap. By me joining, that means I am under them. Screw them. I am not under them,” he said.

MCDCB is a coordinating body for metro-wide planning and development on sustainable and long term projects for the whole Metro Cebu. —  /JMO (FREEMAN)

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