Councilors: Defer plan to seize license
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - February 10, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Two opposition-allied councilors have asked the Cebu City Transportation Office to defer the implementation of the planned confiscation of driver’s licenses this month.

 

Councilors Raymond Alvin Garcia and Jocelyn Pesquera said traffic enforcers of the city have to be deputized first by the Land Transportation Office before they can confiscate driver’s licenses of erring motorists in the city.

“Everything has to be within the bounds of the law. The national law states that it is only the Land Transportation Office that can confiscate licenses or his deputized agents. I will just caution CCTO nga dapat lang you get first your deputization before you confiscate licenses,” Garcia said.

Garcia and Pesquera, together with allies Pastor Alcover, Renato Osmeña, Jr., Eduardo Rama, and Joel Garganera, have voted against the passage of the ordinance last October 2018.

But the opposition legislators were outnumbered by the majority bloc in supporting Councilor Eugenio Gabuya’s ordinance, which was supported by Councilors Mary Ann de los Santos, Joy Augustus Young, Sisinio Andales, Margarita Osmeña, Jerry Guardo, Alvin Arcilla and ex-officio members Franklyn Ong and Jessica Resch, who are all connected the administration.

Garcia and Pesquera expressed the same sentiments from different transport groups as they believed that there is nothing under the Land Transportation and Traffic Code that authorizes a local government to pass an ordinance that authorizes the confiscation of a driver’s license.

“We are not on solid ground here nga we will just depend on the ordinance kay naa man national law that’s saying nga it’s only LTO that’s allowed to confiscate or his deputized agents,” Garcia said.

He added he is willing to assist CCTO in a meeting with LTO for the deputization of some traffic enforcers.

Pesquera said the city government should also protect its employees from being sued.

While they support the objective of the CCTO to discipline the drivers, Pesquera said everyone should take part in ensuring smooth traffic flow by obeying traffic rules.

Sought for comment, CCTO Operations Chief Francisco Ouano said he will just follow orders from his superior, Mayor Tomas Osmeña.

Ouano said he already talked with some officials of LTO in 2016 for the deputization of the traffic enforcers but was reportedly rejected.

He added that he also talked to LTO Director Victor Caindec who also said that the office can only deputize regular employees to avoid abuse.

“Ganahan gyud atong mayor nga ma-implement na karong buwana bisan og hapit na ang eleksyon kay makadisiplina gyud ta sa atong mga drayber,” Ouano told The FREEMAN.

Ouano said his office is still finalizing the creation of an adjudication board that will hear complaints, if any, during the course of the implementation of the ordinance.

He said only 100 enforcers will be given the authority to confiscate driver’s licenses of motorists who violate traffic rules.

Ouano said the Adjudication Board will be 24/7 so that motorists who want to get back their licenses will have an avenue to do so any time of the day upon payment of the violation.

Among the traffic rules are no stopping, no u-turn, no parking, disregard of traffic signs, and others.

Once the motorist will be caught committing these violations, Ouano said they will be issued with citation tickets and will be asked to pay the P1,000 fine. — GAN (FREEMAN)

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