Traffic gridlock as private schools reopen

MANIC MONDAY. Passengers rush to a public utility jeepney bound for Iloilo City at the Ceres bus terminal in Barangay Buhang, Jaro district. Inclement weather, the resumption of classes in private schools and the seeming lack of vehicles confronted lots of stranded commuters yesterday. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN

ILOILO City – While public elementary and high schools resumed classes Monday last week, their private counterparts here resumed theirs only yesterday.

There was a notable traffic gridlock in some parts of the city early morning yesterday such as Lopez Jaena Street going to Central Philippine University (CPU) in Jaro district and the Jaro Plaza area, La Paz district and General Luna Street in the City Proper.

A surge in private vehicles contributed to the snail-paced flow of public utility vehicles, according to Jeck Conlu, head of the city government’s Public Safety and Transportation Management Office (PSTMO).

Traffic jams resulted, too, to the stranding of lots of commuters in transport terminals such as those in Barangay Tagbak, Barangay Buhang and Barangay Ungka, all in Jaro.

There appeared to be a shortage of jeepneys but in reality they were stuck in traffic elsewhere and failed to return quickly to pick up passengers from the terminals.

According to Conlu, one very challenging spot yesterday morning was Lopez Jaena Street, particularly CPU. The PSTMO had to troubleshoot, he said.

The university made available only one gate for vehicles to enter and leave. Plus, the flow of vehicles was slow as school guards had to thoroughly check them.

“Kon magsulod ka sa gate nila naga-stop, kag may nagapagwa man. Naga-backfire sya sa aton nga main road,” said Conlu.

Beginning today there would be some adjustments, he said.

“Kinanglan i-utilize nila ang iban nila nga gates,” stressed Conlu.

Still, said the PSTMO chief, traffic jams were not unusual on Mondays.

“Nagatingob ang mga pasahero halin sa provinces basta Monday,” he explained.

That the PSTMO lacked the needed logistics did not help yesterday. Vehicles it had been using have been recalled and given to another city hall office while another one became unserviceable. It thus appealed for public understanding if it could not immediately respond to traffic concerns and on-road problems.

In its official Facebook page, the PSTMO also revealed that during the resumption of classes on June 3 its personnel used their personal vehicles to ensure the smooth and orderly flow of traffic and act on various traffic and public safety concerns.

“We are hoping, though, that under the new administration by July we can be given much needed logistical support so as also to give better and quality service to the public,” PSTMO added./PN


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