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Rough Cuts | No more parking fee collectors?

Last Thursday we heard on television reports the deaths of some 100 heads of pigs in Davao City.

According to the reports the cause or causes of deaths of the swine has/have not yet been determined by the city’s veterinary authorities.

But in the wake of the disclosure that the dreaded African Swine Fever (ASF) has already gained foothold in the Philippines we would not be surprised if Davao residents would entertain fear that it has something to do with the Davao swine incidents.

One hundred heads of pigs dying in a period of say one week is something that cannot be taken for granted especially in relations to the swine industry that has been progressing for so long already in the city.

But one thing that could give apprehension to Davao pork consumers is that the veterinary authorities have not disclosed the specific place or places where the 100 pigs have died. That leaves all areas with known piggeries operating suspects as possibly affected.

We just hope that the city veterinary authorities or the City Agriculturist Office, or the Department of Agriculture (DA) will finally come up with conclusive findings as to the cause/s of the 100 swine deaths.
The longer they keep their findings in the wraps the more the speculation of the ASF infestation in the city’s swine farms sticks.

And like in Metro Manila and some provinces in Luzon, it is likely to disturb the stability of prices of pork in the markets as well as the marketability of the hogs raised in Davao City’s swine farms.

The consequence will also be felt in the prices of fish and vegetables, the very food items that are the usual fare in the disadvantaged families’ meal tables.

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The commanding officer of the Task Force – Davao (TFD) is recommending to the Office of the City Mayor to have the penalty for illegal vehicle parking increased.

This sounds a very nice idea. Definitely it will discourage parking on non-designated spaces especially along the roads. But of course it will bore holes in the pockets of vehicle drivers or owners. This will make them grudgingly comply.

But then, will there be religious compliance of any such ordinance should the recommendation of TFD chief Col. Consolito Yecla be adopted by the city?

We all know that there is hardly any stretch left in almost all downtown roads for parking purposes be that paid or for free. From our daily travel around the city’s downtown area we have noticed that almost all stretches of the roads are painted yellow boxes indicating that these are for pick-up or dropping of passengers by public utility vehicles only.

And if there are non-yellow boxes the spaces that could have been for privately-owned vehicle parking are arrogantly allocated by business establishments as their own private parking reserves. Imagine spaces in front of business establishments installed markers with notice that these are reserved for customers’ or establishment vehicles’ parking!

This situation exists in spite of the existence of an ordinance banning the use of roadsides fronting an establishment as exclusive parking spaces for customers or owners’ vehicles.

We have also noted that the planners in the identification of roadside stretches to be designated as passenger pick-up and dropping areas have not studied carefully which roads are heavily used by public utility vehicles. Thus, instead of making the sides of these roads either free or fee parking stretches these have become off-limits to them.

One example is the stretch along the right side of Bonifacio St. from the gate of a church towards the office of a well-known printing press that has its plant in Toril. A yellow box is painted here even if the same road is not the usual public transport route.

Yes, some PUVs use the road but since this is not part of the usual route, seldom that there is convergence of passengers along that portion of Bonifacio st. The PUVs that are seen using the routes are those that make a portion of a gas station at the corners of Bonifacio and C. Bangoy streets as their terminal. So those bound for Toril converge instead at the gas station.

Considering the growing complaints by private vehicle owners working in the city’s downtown or have transactions thereat, may be it is about time the CTTMO planners revisit its designated yellow boxes and those stretches allocated for vehicle parking.

By the way it’s been years since we last saw parking attendant ticketing vehicle owners/drivers who park on city road sides. Has that ordinance been suspended? We believe it is still operational because the measly revenue from parking fee collections is still reflected in the monthly Revenue Collection and Disbursement Report of the City Treasurer’s Office.

Or, are the assigned collectors remitting their collections to their own pockets?

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