An unsolicited advice to the new CITOM chief
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Freeman) - August 2, 2015 - 10:00am

In more than eight hundred shows in our talk show “Straight from the Sky,” we, for the first time, finally has a guest who will give us a serious discussion on solar energy. In the past, we’ve had some guests who talked about clean or renewable energy, but this time we really focused on the pros and cons of solar power, which we all know is free as the light from the sun gives us this type of energy.

Our guest today is CEO of Sasonbi Mr. Dante Briones who flew from Manila to be on this show. He will provide us some details on how solar energy works and, best of all, he has already installed this system in the house of my good friend Bobong Castillo and in his factory in Sunpride Foods in Mandaue. So we are discussing about how much solar energy can save you money on your electricity bills because installing solar panels is not really that simple like buying a new car. You have to get solar panels to match your electricity requirements.

So please watch this very interesting show on SkyCable’s channel 61 at 8:00 tonight with replays on Wednesday and Saturday same time and channel. We also have replays on MyTV channel 30 at 9:00 tonight and at 7:00AM and 9:00PM on Wednesday and Friday.


My heartfelt condolences to the family of the late Atty. Mario Ortiz who passed away last Friday. He was a former mayor of Cebu City and the oldest Rotarian in the Rotary Club of Cebu (Mother) who even attended the previous Rotary meeting. His sons, Danny and Edwin, told me that he wasn’t even that sickly….but when the Lord comes to call you, you have to go. Mario’s wife, Julita, left ahead of Mar last January. Now they are truly reunited in that heavenly home reserved for the righteous ones, especially Mario who was a good man. May God rest his soul.


Last Saturday evening, both Rep. Raul del Mar and potential challenger former Cebu City Mayor Alvin Garcia sat together at the wake of Mario Ortiz. Both of them have always been long time friends and they told me that politics wouldn’t affect their friendship. I was glad to be there when the two were talking because this gives us Cebuanos a little pride that Cebuano politics is really about what Cebuanos can do for Cebu.

Remember in the last elections, the opponent of Rep. Raul del Mar was no less than the famous Annabelle Rama, cousin of Mayor Mike Rama. But her loss to Rep. Raul del Mar is proof that Cebuanos are not really as star struck as other Filipinos. Also in the wake was Mayor Mike Rama who was seated by Mayor Adelino Sitoy of Cordova.

But I took the opportunity to inform Mayor Rama that it was time to restore the old parking system in the Fuente Osmeña because the new system installed by the previous CITOM chief, was good only at the beginning. But today, because there is no proper implementation of that plan, the road along the old Rajah Hotel has become so narrow because of triple parking.

I don’t know and haven’t met the new CITOM chief Atty. Rey Gealon who traded his elective position as Argao municipal councilor to run the traffic in Cebu City, which, as you know, is getting worse than ever. So even if I have not yet met the man, let me give this unsolicited advice to him… that to solve Cebu’s traffic mess… he must keep the intersections open and flowing. This is a very simple task but difficult to do simply because CITOM doesn’t always have men on the ground during rush hour.

Let me point out to the new CITOM chief that those painted squares in our intersections have become meaningless if you do not apprehend motorists whose vehicles are caught inside those squares. They are the ones who clog our intersections and I dare say, it is time for motorists to be apprehended when they are found inside those white squares. Traffic lights are useless when vehicles stop at the red light but they are now inside those painted squares and have blocked the flow of traffic.

The second lesson I would like to impart to our new CITOM chief is that he must internalize the three “E’s” of traffic management, which are Enforcement, Education, and Engineering. With Engineering you can use plastic or concrete islands to divide and control traffic movement. Best of all, you can open new roads to help dissipate traffic. While Enforcement teaches a motorist bitter lessons on the rules of the road. And more importantly, Education is a must for a driver.

This is the problem with our centralized system of governance. Motorists are taught by the Land Transportation Office about traffic rules but these people get their licenses anyway. But no one tells drivers what the road rules for Metro Cebu are — where they can or cannot park. So call this the first lesson we are giving to the new CITOM chief and if he removes illegally parked vehicles from the road, then he might succeed!


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