City earns P17 million from traffic, obstruction fines

BAGUIO CITY November 27 – The local government collected close to P17 million from the apprehensions done by traffic enforcers and barangay officials on violations of traffic and obstruction rules and regulations from January to November this year.

Chief Inspector Oliver Panabang, chief of the Baguio city Police office's Traffic Management Branch, disclosed that for the first 11 months of the year, traffic enforcers made 41,483 apprehensions in the different parts of the city that translated to over P11.45 million in fines paid by the motorists to the City Treasury Office.

On the other hand, he noted that on the implementation of the local government's anti-road obstruction policy as contained in an administrative order, barangay officials made some 5,479 apprehensions that translated to the payment of nearly P870,000 in fines paid to the City Treasury Office by the erring motorists.

"We continue to strictly implement our existing traffic and obstruction rules and regulations even with a depleted manpower because it is our job to make our roads safe for our motorists and pedestrians alike," Panabang stressed.

He underscored the importance of the consistency of deputized barangay officials in the implementation of the city's anti-road obstruction policy to help clear city and barangay roads from obstructions, especially the illegally parked motor vehicles that impede the smooth flow of traffic on roads and streets in the different parts of the city.

Under the anti-road obstruction policy of the local government, barangays get a 70 percent share from the fines paid by the erring motorists that are often credited to the income of the barangays for budgeting purposes in the next fiscal year.

However, Panabang admitted that there are still numerous motorists who have not settled their fines with the City Treasury Office that is why there are still license plate numbers of motor vehicles kept in the BCPO-TMB office and some barangays which will be released only after the motorists shall have paid the prescribed fines contained in the traffic citation tickets issued to them for their violations.

The police official admitted that because of the increasing number of motor vehicles plying the major roads in the city, there is also an increase in the number of violators of traffic rules and regulations aside from the increase in the number of illegally parked motor vehicles that serve as obstructions in national, city and barangay roads despite the existence of designated parking spaces in the central business district area and the city's 128 barangays.

Panabang urged motorists to observe utmost discipline when travelling along major roads around the city for them to safely reach their desired destinations and for drivers to learn to upgrade their skills in trying to navigate the city's mountain roads to prevent the occurrence of incidents that will pose a serious threat to life and limb.

He claimed that the installation of numerous traffic signages in various roads is useless if motorists do not adhere to the advisories in the said signages, thus, the need for motorists to internalize road safety regulations for them to spare people and property accidents.

By Dexter A. See

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