Ordinance to undergo assessment
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - July 5, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The ordinance that allows the traffic enforcers of Cebu City to confiscate the driver’s license of erring motorists will have to wait for the go signal of the new administration.

City Mayor Edgardo Labella said he will order the review of the ordinance because of the legal questions posed by some agencies.

“I’m going to have reassessment and reevaluation of the legal ramification of that ordinance because there were questions raised propounded by the LTO (Land Transportation Office),” he said.

To recall, the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan-dominated City Council approved the ordinance of reelected City Councilor Eugenio Gabuya Jr. authorizing Cebu City Transportation Office traffic enforcers to confiscate the driver’s license of erring motorists.

The approval of the ordinance came with several reservations from transport groups like Visayas United Drivers Transport and Allied Services Cooperative (VUDTRASCO), Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide-Cebu (PISTON), Cebu Integrated Transport Service Multipurpose Cooperative (CITRASCO), the Alliance of Transport Organization Member Intra-Cebu City, and the Metro Taxi Operators Association.

Under the ordinance, the city’s traffic enforcers are allowed to issue an Ordinance Violation Receipt or citation ticket to those people found violating any provision of Republic Act 4163 also known as the Land Transportation and Traffic Code of the Philippines, or any traffic ordinance of Cebu City.

The city’s traffic enforcers will issue citation tickets once a motorist will be caught infracting traffic ordinances like no stopping, no u-turn, no parking, and disregard of traffic signs, among others.

However, the confiscated driver’s license will be released upon payment of P1,000 for the violation.

The critics of the ordinance, including the LTO, believe there is nothing under the Land Transportation and Traffic Code that authorizes a local government to pass an ordinance that calls for the confiscation of a driver’s license.

With this, Labella said he will look into the possibility of deputizing some traffic enforcers so they will have the authority to confiscate driver’s licenses.

“So, I would like to have that reviewed considering that there could be some legal ramifications. The LTO raised some legal questions,” he said.

However, Gabuya cited in the ordinance Section 29 of Republic Act 4163 which states that “law enforcement and peace officers of agencies duly deputized by Land Transportation Office shall in apprehending a driver for any violation of the code or any regulations not contrary to any provisions of the law, confiscate the license of the driver concerned and issued a receipt prescribed and issued for the purpose.”

In the ordinance, the traffic enforcer will ask for his driver’s license and the certificate of registration of the motor vehicle once a motorist is caught violating traffic rules.

It added that the traffic enforcer shall indicate the name and address of the driver and the license number, the certificate of registration number of the motor vehicle, and the specific violation of the motorist in the citation ticket or Ordinance Violation Receipt.

Should Labella be amenable to the implementation of the ordinance, he will issue an executive order for the creation of the adjudication board so that there will be a body that would decide if some motorists contest their apprehension.

Meanwhile, Labella said he will also order the evaluation of the performances of the members of Task Force Alpha under the CCTO.

“For those who have performed well, I don’t mind whether they were (affiliated with the previous administration),” he said, adding that the performance evaluation is being handled by a committee.

After his first week as chief executive of the city, Labella said he will be leaving the country for two days this weekend, but he did not say where he was going.

He just hinted that it is “for Cebu City.” (FREEMAN)

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