The Vices Regulation Unit (VRU) of City Hall appears to be extremely happy with the Office’s collection of over P11 million in fines and related penalties for violations of the city ordinances related to the vices regulation.
Among the ordinances are those regulating smoking in closed and people-frequented places; sale and drinking of liquor from 1 a.m. to 8 in the morning; the so-called Sobriety Ordinance; and the ordinance authorizing collection of fees for certification of designated smoking areas, as well as Permit to Sell Liquor.
The P11,487,000.00 collection is roughly P3 million higher than the P8,624,700 that was collected from violators of the vices ordinances in January to December 2022.
While the increase in collection appears to be very impressive and somewhat indicative of the success of the ordinances, it also shows that it is one unmistakable sign that the ordinances did not meet the essence of their very objective – that is, to deter people from engaging in the vices or at most have a handle of their cravings of such vices.
In other words, the increase in the collection of fines and penalties could only mean that there are more people engaging in the prohibited or regulated vicess, or that the practitioners of the vices like smoking and drinking just simply disregard the ordinances. Or maybe, they do not feel the pain of having to empty their pockets of any of the amounts needed to pay the fines.
So, maybe it is about time to increase the amount of the fines and penalties or providing imprisonment for every violation, whether it is the first, second or third. This could possibly make the people obey the ordinances.
It is our take that if the fines are affordable by violators, the ordinances will continue to be violated. Imagine that in some instances habitual drinkers or just those simple braggarts would even spend as high as from P5 thousand to more than double the amount just to have drinks with friends
In fact lately, we learned that a group of people mostly in their middle 20’s and working in a lending company based in Calinan were all fired after they absconded a sizeable amount from their collections just to satisfy their desire to drink every night. Now these persons are already jobless and facing charges in court. Subpoenas for them are already out and soon their warrants of arrest.
The Davao City Transport and Traffic Management Office (DCTTMO)’s head Ret. P/Col. Dionisio Abude, our idol in community relations work, announced the other day that his agency will start strictly implementing the ordinance limiting to a certain maximum the speed of vehicles in various city roads and highways. The effectivity of the strict implementation started yesterday, January 11.
But does the Abude-led CTTMO have what it takes to make good its commitment for the strict implementation of the speed limit ordinance in Davao City? We mean, does the office have the necessary resources for the agency’s disposal on a day-to-day basis?
What are these resources? First and foremost the CTTMO needs to have enough manpower to keep guard the different city thoroughfares at any given time of the day (including nighttime). Does the said office have the appropriate number of speed guns to exactly determine the speed of motor vehicles? There is no doubt that the number of traffic enforcers who would be assigned to keep watch of city roads will just rely on being mobile or transferring from one area to another because their speed guns are not enough.
Indeed if the two resources we mention above are wanting it is already assurance that the vow of the CTTMO to strictly implement the speed limit ordinance is doomed to fail. And those who suspect that such ordinance is only one “money-making” scheme of the city government all the more will have their suspicion strengthened.
We can only hope that our idol P/Col. Abude is backed up by the gods of the city government in his desire to make the most out of one important ordinance that could possibly help instill discipline among our thousands of city road users. Hopefully, this effort may finally reduce the number or disastrous and deadly road accidents in Davao City.
But the question is: “Is he?”
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