More cops good for Cebu
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit Avila (The Freeman) - December 7, 2018 - 12:00am

The Freeman came up with an editorial entitled “A way to deal with the traffic problem”. It went on saying: “One way of easing traffic congestion in Cebu City, especially in downtown area, is to clean up the streets and sidewalks of vendors. Many of the busy streets around the city are narrow and the presence of ambulant vendors largely contributes to the traffic problem. On Colon, for instance, street and sidewalk vendors force some pedestrians to just walk along the road. This hinders the traffic flow because motorists have to slow down in order not to hit the pedestrians. This traffic problem along Colon, the country’s oldest known national road, has been going on for decades. What is sad, however, is that the local government has never been able to come up with a concrete solution.

“Yes it is the lack of political will that has allowed this problem to continue. We have laws and ordinances that prohibit anyone from doing business along the streets and sidewalks since it blocks and inconveniences the pedestrians. However, these laws and ordinances have never been properly implemented by local authorities. Since the previous administrations, it seems local officials are helpless in dealing with the traffic problem in the city.”

Having worked with Cebu City traffic for a long time, it is easy to understand people’s perceptions. Take a good look at the 5 p.m. traffic anywhere and chances are good you will see an illegally parked vehicle with emergency lights are on while occupying one full lane of street, and their owners don’t get their licenses confiscated. I dare say it’s time to get rid of bad drivers and give us a breather on our roads that are already clogged!

Today no one has come up with any plans to put a new road on top of the super-congested Banilad road. I you don’t like living beside such a road then I suggest you get out of Cebu and move to other places where traffic is manageable! But right now, the only solution to the worsening traffic in Cebu City is to build a three-kilometer overpass road just like what they did in Alabang, in Metro Manila.

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It seems that the presence of police vehicles or personnel on the road has been acceptable to Mayor Tomas Osmeña. With traffic on its Christmas peak, you will certainly see more vehicles on the road at this time, which also means that the possibility of crimes is also high. Thankfully, Mayor Osmeña earlier asked that SWAT teams should be deployed along with the city’s Mobile Patrol Group.

I have been around and when I walk into shopping malls or shops I always greet cops whenever I meet them. After all, a little greeting will make their day. It is a fact that I’ve been around in Cebu City all my life and this is the first time that I have seen patrol cars this many. Although I submit it has not deterred crime but at least our people feel more secure than they did over the past few years. This just reminds me of the old days when we only had Volkswagen beetles for our police cars in Cebu City.

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House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo apparently guaranteed the approval by the House of Representatives of the recommendation by the Armed Forces of the Philippines to extend by another year martial law in Mindanao. For their part, representatives Robert “Ace” Barbers of Surigao del Norte, Michael Romero of 1Pacman party-list, and Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte of Camarines Sur have expressed their all-out support, insisting that peace and order is crucial in the conflict-ridden region. I totally agree! Mindanao has always had border patrols and usually, we don’t know who they really are. Chances are they could be MNLF or worse, NPAs!

This is why Representative Barbers said: “I will support the extension of martial law if only to maintain peace in the island.” Barbers is the chairman of the House committee on dangerous drugs. Like it or not, dangerous drugs is still being peddled in Mindanao, except that this time the Parojinogs are doing it discreetly unlike what they used to do in the past.

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For email responses to this article, write to vsbobita@gmail.com. His columns can be accessed through www.philstar.com

vsbobita@mozcom.com

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