Snatching the goose that lays the golden egg

sept 2

The Dept. of Transportation and Communication-LTO Administrative Order No. AHS-2008-015 which prescribes the new rules for the use and operation of motorcycles on highways is indeed inapplicable, improper and exorbitant of its fines provisions as sounded already by several Tagum City councilors, leading among whom is Councilor Joedel Caasi.

But it was Councilor Allan Zulueta who made the most direct proposition than just did the right thing of LTO bashing over this new anti-poor policy. We better register the city’s objection folks than make a lot of ruckus over this grossly improper and unfair LTO AO.

But so satirical Zulueta was during last Monday’s session. Being a lawyer, he called the attention of LTO Tagum representative Marietta Piccio, that a motorcycle-riding father carrying his son infront of him sitting on the lap of the gasoline tank while his working wife is the back-rider does not make the driving father a violator to the one-backrider provision in the new LTO AO. The son is not a back-rider, he is a front-rider. So the father goes off unflagged in ferrying his son first to the school and then to the working place of the mother. He’s free of the P1,000 fine.

The fish vendors and pandesal criers, on the other hand, for using improvised single motorcycles with wings are automatically subject to apprehension by LTO personnel and their deputies due to the no-cargo policy as only the DTI- approved built-in carrier of luggage in a motorcycle or saddle bag is allowed. Otherwise, they would be fined P1,000.

For not wearing the DTI-prescribed helmet, now we will be fined of P1,500. But until now both the LTO and DTI have not yet posted its advisory with drawing and specification of the prescribed helmet in the way cartographic sketches of big-time criminals and terrorists have been posted and wanted. Nor we know whether there’s already a lot of supply of it from among profiteering helmet-selling shops and stores.

These occur while there are already reported instances of apprehension in the city made by LTO personnel and their deputies from Davao City, while only the xerox copies of the AO have tipped off local authorities. Our local government officials might already be gnashing their teeth for LTO’s failure to consult them, even while the LTO and DTI have not synched up yet their policies and moves in enforcing this corruption-prone new LTO AO.

In a City of Habal-Habals, this ravenous LTO AO is snatching the goose that lays the golden egg. In last year, the city government hit a pot of gold amounting to a million from violations alone of city’s helmet ordinance from mostly owners and drivers of colorum hahal-habal single motorcycles that are blessed under the city’s policy of toleration and de facto legalization in the name of the new livelihood of the people.  And good tidings can be seen at the end of this year as the city government from May to July alone this year has already grossed more than P500,000.

Under this AO, fines from helmet violations go to national coffers. To the city’s coffers, no more. If the city government will not register its objections now, then it tolerating a heist yet to be done, and this is LTO’s act of snatching its very own goose that lays the golden egg.(Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

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