No wonder, the streets of Iloilo City is a daily bedlam of gridlocks.
Aside from the transportation committee of the city council that preaches the superstition blaming provincial public vehicles as the culprits for the traffic mess, Iloilo City is also cursed with traffic enforcers whom gods the almighty ones blessed with nit wits and half wits.
They continue to ignore the reality, scientifically verified facts for that matter, that private utility vehicles are the ones congesting traffic in Iloilo City because of their sheer volume and the penchant of their owners – the economic elite – to treat roads their exclusive turfs hence, their sovereign act of licensing themselves to treat roads their private garages.
We also have law enforcers who are traffic violators themselves parking their own motorcycles and vehicles in wrong places including busy street corners, thus, obstructing traffic flow, as the pictures here show.
In other words, our nice men and women in the transport committee are beholden to racketeers disquised as transport leaders who insist that city loop drivers are made poorer daily by P500 at least, because of provincial jeepneys competing with them. What’s their basis for that?
At one time, these bogus transport leaders inveigled a group of Mandurriao drivers to cough up a sum to grease the palm of the LTFRB to approve their application for the Savannah – Mandurriao – Iloilo City route.
Another group of jeepney drivers filed an opposition. The LTFRB regional director had no choice: he declined to decide because of the opposition. Instead, he followed the standard procedure of endorsing the application by these bogus transport leaders up to the national office.
The bogus transport leaders cried foul and went on media blitz against the LTFRB director who in turn fired back that they had duped the Mandurriao jeepney into producing P50,000 for their commission for a petition that eventually failed.
It is these bogus transport leaders that serve also as high priests of the superstitious doctrine that to make travel smooth and comfortable in Iloilo City is to ban all provincial jeepneys.
Sadly, Kgd. Plaridel Nava, chair of the city council transport committee and an esteemed colleague in the legal profession, converted to their faith with the devotion only fanatics of the Pulahan, Ilaga and Ituman fame can match.
In one fine afternoon, the Honorable Nava paid Iloilo Gov. Arthur D. Defensor, Sr. a visit to proposed for a “transport summit” as preparation for the proposed Comprehensive Perimeter Boundary Ordinance (CPBO) he was to introduce to the city legislature.
The seasoned elder in politics, beckoned the city councillor to peek through the glass wall of the governor’s office and look at the traffick gridlock below. “Look at that,” Defensor gently told him to look down at ehs streets . “There is a bedlam and traffic disarray, can you find a single provincial jeepney causing the mess?”
There was none but only private vehicles causing the logjam from all directions.Other city officials recommended the commissioning of the University of the Philippines in the Visayas to study the traffic situation for whatever reason and pushing through Nava’s proposed “traffic summit with all stake holders.”
None of that happened because Nava sunk himself deep in the devotion preached by the bogus transport leaders and racketeers, and parroting their rabidity in blaming provincial jeepneys as culprits of the traffic gridlocks.
He was heard on air mouthing lame excuses that since waiting for UPV to come up with its study he might as well push with his draft on the CPBO intact. He also cancelled the proposed summit because he didn’t need one, after all.
Recently, the Honorable Nava came with another bright idea of doing an experiment at Luna Street that minimized left turns and requiring all vehicles wishing to turn left instead to proceed to the Arroyo Fountain fronting the Old Capitol to u-turn. It was a bright idea with crazy ending. Nava admitted it a failure. His pair of eyes failed to see that private vehicles entering and exiting three schools along Luna (University of San Augustine, Assumption College and St. Paul University) are the biggest contributors to the bottleneck. That does not include yet vehicles parking on the street side fronting – of all things – the Iloilo PNP Station.
Now, the Honorable Nava once more dangles the idea of demolishing the historic Arroyo Fountain and nearby road “islands” to widen that particular space without considering the narrow roads –bottlenecks–connecting to it. (The fountain is “Kilometro 0” which is the basis for geodetic engineers in surveying lands in Iloilo City and Province.)
In other countries, designing of public transport system is done by a cross section of society, largely by social scientists and engineers. Their purpose is to make transport attain it’s raison d’etre: to transport people and goods safely and efficiently to their destination. Public transport is designed to promote the flow of goods and services, commerce in other words.
In Iloilo, public transport is crafted based on superstition and the parochial view and interests of racketeers.
And it is aggravated by establishing a pack of traffic enforcers whose competence is exclusively limited to their skills of throwing back traffic management to the Dark Ages. We have traffic enforcers good only in extorting from hapless drivers, or in warming their butts in places other than their stations.
We have law enforcers who, as their office suggests, enforce the laws alright but violate them brazenly at their onvenience.
Take the pictures below yours truly took early afternoon of October 1, 2013 at the junction of Valeria and Delgado Streets.
In other countries, anybody parking at any street corner gets the ticket for traffic obstruction regardless of his/her station in life. Traffic junctions are not for parking because it blocks vehicles from proceeding forward or turning.
An ordinary jeepney driver instantly becomes P300 poorer in penalty for obstruction like parking at street corners.
In Iloilo City which Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog ecstatically calls “My City My Pride”, street corners are exclusive parking space for PNP prowl cars.
The CPBO is bound to fail. It is designed to solve everything except traffic.
The city government through the CPBO persists in the superstition that blames public jeepneys, provincial ones especially, as culprits for the traffic mess yet continues to pamper private car owners whose vehicles outnumber PUJs 7 : 1. The CPBO is built on superstitious foundation that ignores the need to regulate the real culprits of the traffic mess by adopting such measures tested in other cities like the “number coding” or “odd-even” scheme.