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Opinion

First City Ordinance regulating traffic and operation of rigs

Clarence Paul Oaminal - The Freeman

The Municipal Board of the City of Cebu on December 20, 1947 on motion of Board President Marcos M. Morelos enacted City Ordinance No. 65 entitled "An ordinance regulating traffic, operation of rigs, registration of rigs and rig driver license, licensing of push car owner, and the carrying of lights."

The ordinance designated as one way street for vehicular traffic only: Portion of Sikatuna Street going north from Bonifacio St. to Imus Street. Bonifacio St. going East from D. Jakosalem St. Los Martires (now M.J. Cuenco Avenue). Portion of Los Martires (M.J. Cuenco Avenue) going south from Villagonzalo St. to Villagonzalo St. Portion of Villagonzalo St. going East then going North then going West from Los Martires St to Los Martires St.

The ordinance requires that every owner of rig (tartanilla), cart and push cart, shall within five days after taking actual possession, register it in the Office of the Traffic Division, Police Department with the corresponding fee of Twelve Pesos (P12.00 pesos) per rig for one year. For Driver License one year was P1.00.

Just like today's vehicles, at all times, while using the public highways every rig shall display plates in conspicuous places, one in the front and one in the rear thereof. It also states that no vehicle drawn by animals or bicycle shall use any automobile horn, and no vehicle of whatever description shall use any siren, exhaust or compression whistle. Provide further, that no person under the age of 18 years shall drive a vehicle (including animal drawn). Each applicant or driver shall upon notice that his qualifications have been found satisfactory must furnish two readily recognized photographs of the applicant, one copy of which shall be securely attached to the license.

The Chief of Police or the Chief of the Traffic Division may suspend for a period, not exceeding one month or after hearing may revoke any rig driver's license, when it is determined that the holder is an improper person to drive a rig.

The ordinance even provides on the position of the driver, it said that no rig driver will be allowed to sit on any part of the rig except on the front seat made purposely or such driver. Another requirement is that every rig shall be provided with two white lights visible at a distance of 50 yards.

The penalty for violation of any of the provision of the ordinance was a fine of not less than five (5) nor more than thirty (30) pesos or imprisonment of not less than five days or more than 30 days in the discretion of the court.

The President of the Municipal Board that enacted the ordinance was Marcos M. Morelos, Catalina S. Ybanez was the President Protempore, Filemon R. Zapanta was the Floor Leader, while the rest of the members were: Crescencio Tomakin, Paciente S. Villa, Juan C. Seno, Jose P. Nolasco and Jovito S. Abellana.

The council's Secretary was Jose Fortich (a street is named after him in sitio Banawa, barangay Guadalupe), Artemio A. Mendoza was the Secretary to the Mayor while the City Mayor was Miguel Raffinan.

ARTEMIO A BOARD PRESIDENT MARCOS M BONIFACIO ST. CATALINA S CHIEF OF POLICE CHIEF OF THE TRAFFIC DIVISION CITY MAYOR CITY ORDINANCE NO CUENCO AVENUE RIG SHALL
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