EDITORIAL: Fine Tune Needed



No doubt that the future is on the side of Naga City’s Ordinance No.2018-018, otherwise known as “The towing ordinance and expanded wheel clamp ordinance of Naga City. First things first however.

But it should not leave any room for confusion. Otherwise it would fall within the ambit of class legislation. To illustrate, Section 4 A identifies wheel clamp and towing areas.

Section 5 provides in substance that roads utilized for parking space along the circumference of the Naga City People’s Mall such as J. Hernandez Ave., General Luna St., Prieto St., and Zamora St., shall not be charged any fee if the occupancy is not more than two hours. On the other hand Section 11 provides for penalties concerning clamped or towed vehicles, the amounts of which are markedly different from those mentioned in section 5.

The issue raised via social media on which vehicles are subject to clamping and/or towing is very relevant. A neophyte city councilor volunteered to clarify by saying that towing applies to four-wheel vehicle, while clamping is applicable to two-wheel vehicles. That clarification is deficient because where shall three wheel vehicles fall? How about vehicles with more than four wheels?

To go further, there is no clear showing that towing or clamping of vehicles by parking violators help reduce the growing traffic problem within specific thoroughfares of the city.

There is no sufficient proof that illegally parked vehicles cause primarily traffic congestion. Failure or inefficiency of those tasked to manage traffic and malfunction of the traffic lights are the major culprits. Traffic lights already existent for a considerable period of time have not been fully functionalized. Often these traffic lights flash yellow colored lights. Given such situation, the gadgets have been more of a cause for confusion.

The existence of the Public Safety Office (PSO) has not contributed much in the management of traffic. As admitted by the head of PSO, of the about 180 personnel it has, only around 20 are actively involved in traffic management.

Where are the about 160 remaining personnel? Unless a head count coupled with job description is done, the suspicion that there are ghosts simply frolicking inside the PSO becomes valid.

Has the requirement for posting and publication under Section 511 of R.A.7160 been duly complied with? Be that as it may, the subject ordinance will find justification in due time.

But the sentiments of the private sector must be duly addressed. Truth to tell, Naga’s privately initiated growth has long outpaced government planning. Meantime, Ordinance No.2018-018 needs more time for comprehensive fine tuning or tightening of loose ends.

Incidentally, alternate routes should be further cleared of obstruction and aided with luminous traffic signs.