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500-peso for all traffic violations mulled

ORMOC CITY – The Committee on Police, Fire and Penology is calling one final meeting on three traffic related draft ordinances on Tuesday, January 17. The first is the proposed Ormoc Protective Helmet Ordinance of 2017; the Ormoc One-way Flow, No Left Turn, No Right Turn Vehicular Passage and the No Parking Ordinance of 2017.

In a meeting held this week, it was agreed that a P 500.00 uniform penalty is imposed on all kinds of traffic violations, except for those caught for parking violations. It was deemed an
amount that would hurt the pockets of violators enough to teach them a lesson, but not oppressive. “There will be no first offense, second or third offense,” said chairman councilor Gregorio “Goito” Yrastorza III. “There will be no tiered penalties for this and that kind of violation. All will be penalized P 500.00,” he added. Yrastorza said there had been a delay in the passage
of the ordinances, after councilor Mariano Corro asked if the Sanggunian Panlungsod was allowed to impose penalties lower than its national counterpart. For example, the Land Transportation Office penalizes violators of the helmet law the amount of P 1,500.00, and the city was only proposing P 500.00 if violators were caught by city traffic enforcers. Yrastorza said they still
had to seek clarification to the question raised by their colleague and it was only recently that city prosecutor Marcelo Oñate, who is also acting city legal officer, gave his opinion that it can be done legally.

As for parking violations committed within city limits, Yrastorza said the penalties would be not less than P 3,000.00 as the city might employ a towing company or buy its own. This is aside from an impounding fee and a daily fine. Emmanuel Sevilla, LTO Ormoc chief, said the penalty proposed for the towing is still lower than the national law. The LTO has already trained traffic enforcers in Ormoc, in preparation for staffing the newly created traffic management office. Meanwhile, the trained enforcers are still being screened on their industriousness and capability in handling the ticklish job which is prone to road rage.

By Lalaine M. Jimenea

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