THERE is an old saying that goes this way: “If Muhammad cannot go to the mountain then let the mountain come to Muhammad.”
It is along with this context that we are heartily appreciating the Land Transportation Office (LTO) XI for giving life to the statement with its very laudable outreach program of bringing its major services to areas where it’s difficult for the people who are supposed to seek the same services right at the offices of the said agency of government.
We are actually referring to the outreach program of the LTO going to different far-flung barangays in Davao City to conduct seminars and issuance as well as the processing of driver’s Student’s Permits. The agency is also conducting activities that make it easier for vehicles, specifically motorcycles, owners to register or renew the registration of their units.
It cannot be denied that most vehicles of people residing in the rural areas of the city are either not yet registered or renewed at the LTO because of the distance and of most owner’s notion that they could do away with registering their vehicle because hardly will there be the operation of traffic law enforcers in the uplands or rural barangays.
So, vehicle owners in these areas hardly had any worry that their units would get impounded or their drivers apprehended. In fact, it is already almost everybody’s knowledge that this and that vehicle is not registered or its registration long expired. Or, that this and that driver does not have any license at all.
In fact seeing teenagers, both male and female, driving motorbikes or multi-cabs is already a common sight in the rural barangays. This is because they are emboldened with the thought that no traffic enforcer will dare operate in areas too far from their base.
But things seem to have changed at the LTO under the current leadership of the agency. Somehow, the people at the said office realize that there is more to distance and lack or total absence of traffic enforcers in these areas that make the continuing infraction by the vehicle owners and drivers of LTO and police regulations.
They now know that finances could be playing a role for these violations. Or, the vehicle owners or drivers in the upland communities are very vulnerable to the corrupt practices of some individuals who are in cahoots with some scheming agency officials.
Now they found a novel way of addressing this vulnerability by going to the distant barangays and right there conducting the necessary activities that will make it easy to acquire the preliminary requirements of either the registration or renewal thereof of the units or acquisition of driver’s Student Permit.
This is no easy job as things like these entail expenses and carry certain risks in traveling to the barangays where the peace and security situation is not certain at all times. And despite the hazards of travel and the attendant overhead, yesterday we witnessed the conduct of one of these outreach activities in one of the barangays in Tugbok District. From what we saw in terms of the number of attendees we can easily deduce that indeed many vehicle owners and drivers want to comply with the regulation. And they see the LTO outreach as the best opportunity for them to work on the various steps of complying.
So we cannot help but appreciate the LTO for this very laudable project. This, we believe, is one way of cleaning the image of the agency which for the longest time had been the face of government corruption from the smallest fixer to the biggest fish shrewdly operating inside the agency.
We remember that some years back the creation of a Davao International Airport Authority had been strongly pushed not just by some politicians but by organized business in the city. Of course the politicians were quick to jump on that opportunity to have it taken up in both local and national planning processes. In fact some were emphatic in saying they will bring it up to the halls of Congress to have it realized. The move’s realization was strongly hoped for because the tenant in Malacanang is from Davao City and the former speaker of the House of Representatives is also from the Davao Region.
Unfortunately, it is already five years since the Davaoeno President started his term and there is no semblance of any indication that the creation of the Authority is already in the works. In fact even the business sector which has been very bullish of the plan appears to be intriguingly silent about it. Is the plan also being corroded by the effect of the Corona Virus that is now raging in the entire universe? Are our politicians so preoccupied with crafting measures to address the global pandemic that they already have no more time to discuss other things in Congress?
Maybe by providing Davaoenos at least an update on the plan and citing some reasons for the failure to realize it, could be a whiff of pleasant news amidst the people’s wariness due to CoViD 19.
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