Proposed anti-counterflow ordinance hit

Bonifacio Drive is one of the busiest and most congested intersections in Iloilo City. During rush hours traffic grinds to a halt. PN PHOTO

ILOILO City – The Iloilo City Loop Alliance of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association (ICLAJODA) is against the proposed ordinance prohibiting counterflowing.

It is “balik-awot” (warped) and “indi maintindihan” (incomprehensible), said ICLAJODA president Raymundo Parcon.

Councilor Lyndon Acap’s proposed “Anti-Counterflowing Ordinance of Iloilo City” penalizes counterflowing or “driving any motor vehicle overtaking another vehicle and occupying the lane supposedly for the motor vehicle driving the opposite direction.”

“Take for example Barangay Calumpang in Molo district. There are many slow-moving tricycles and trisikads plying the streets there. What are we jeepney drivers supposed to do, just tail them? And what would happen if there’s a slow-moving funeral procession? Time is crucial for us driving public utility jeepneys. Under the proposed ordinance, we will be losing a lot in terms of potential income,” said Parcon.

The “Anti-Counterflowing Ordinance of Iloilo City” hurdled first reading during May 28 regular session of the Sangguniang Panlungsod and is up for a committee hearing.

Acap observed the proliferation of counterflowing vehicles on the city’s thoroughfares.

“These vehicles endanger people’s lives,” he stressed.

Joint Administrative Order No. 2014-01 (Revised Schedule of Fines and Penalties for Violation of Laws, Rules and Regulations Governing Land Transportation Office) of the Department of Transportation and Communication and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board does not consider counterflowing a traffic offense.

But Acap said the Local Government Code authorizes local government units to exercise power expressly granted, those necessarily implied as well as powers necessary, appropriate or incidental for efficient and effective governance, and those which are essential to the promotion of the general welfare, maintain peace and order, and preserve the comfort and convenience of people.

Under Acap’s proposed ordinance, the counterflower shall be fined P1,000.

Parcon said ICLAJODA would be submitting to the SP a position paper against the proposed ordinance.

“The city has many ordinances addressing traffic congestion and ensuring public safety but they are not being enforced,” he added.

He cited the ordinance against illegal parking and the ordinance outlawing jeepney barkers.

Parcon also lamented that authorities are not apprehending tricycles and trisikads entering major thoroughfares.

“Most of them are colorum. They do not have franchises, thus illegal,” he said./PN


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