Friday, May 21, 2010

TO REPLACE CITOM: City plans new traffic agency

TO REPLACE CITOM: City plans new traffic agency
By Rene U. Borromeo (The Freeman) Updated May 21, 2010 12:00 AM

EBU, Philippines - There is a plan to abolish the City Traffic
Operations Management (CITOM) and to create a much bigger traffic
enforcement body to be called Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO).

The proposal of Councilors Sylvan “Jack” Jakosalem, Raul Alcoseba and
Augustus Pe Jr. was presented in a public hearing before the start of
the city council’s regular session last Wedneday and nobody opposed
the plan.

Engr. Nigel Paul Villarete, head of the City Planning and Development
Office, spoke before the city legislators and supported the move to
create the CCTO saying “It’s the key to a better and orderly Cebu
City.”

Villarete explained that the Cebu City Transportation Office will act
as the local counterpart of the Department of Transportation and
Communication, the “mother agency” of the Land Transportation Office.

Jakosalem explained that the creation of the CCTO does not mean that
the CITOM Board, which is headed by the city mayor, will be also
abolished. The board will continue to oversee the functions and
performance of the new department.

According to Jakosalem the head of the CCTO will become member of the
CITOM Board, the body that will formulate policies, agenda and
direction and the CCTO will just implement these.

“If not there will be too much room of corruption,” said Jakosalem,
chairman of the city council’s committee on transportation.

Pe also explained that once the CCTO will be created, all functions of
CITOM will be absorbed by the new traffic body that will be headed by
a traffic expert.

The creation of CCTO is also to ensure that the huge amount of public
investment on traffic signal equipment and other facilities are
properly protected, maintained and operated.

There is a recommendation that deserving traffic personnel will be
granted security of tenure to ensure a continued leadership in traffic
management with core values such as discipline, integrity and service.

Jakosalem said the CCTO shall have four divisions — transportation
planning, transportation engineering, traffic enforcement and parking
operations division, and support services.

The transportation planning division shall have four sections —
planning, monitoring & evaluation, traffic education and the
management of information system.

It will conduct periodic review of the urban traffic system to
provide optimum coordination of the intersections.

Jakosalem said the traffic engineering division shall have three
sections — civil works and signage and pavement marking section,
traffic signal control, and traffic signal maintenance.

Meanwhile, the traffic enforcement and parking operations division
shall have six sections — traffic enforcement, mobile operation,
parking operations and pedestrian violations, special traffic action
section, communication, billing and collections.

The support services division shall be responsible in the performance
of administrative functions, including the logistics, legal and
investigation section.

At present, CITOM only has one lawyer that is why its legal section is
not capable of filing the traffic-related cases before the courts for
those erring drivers, who just ignore their violations.

Statistics show that CITOM enforcers apprehend about 800 erring
drivers everyday, but many of those who are apprehended just ignore
the citation tickets issued to them because their driver’s licenses
were not confiscated.

Jakosalem had moved that CITOM enforcers should be empowered to
confiscate the licenses of erring drivers, but his proposed ordinance
is still pending for deliberation at the City Council.

A driver’s license can be confiscated only if the apprehending officer
will issue Temporary Operators Permit (TOP) to the erring driver, but
most of the traffic enforcers are armed only with traffic citation
tickets. — /NLQ (FREEMAN NEWS)

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