By Nelson Flores, Ll.B., MSCK
THERE is a 100 percent increase in the number of apprehended traffic violators in the first five months of this year compared to the fourth quarter of the preceding one.
According to a press statement of the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT) over the weekend, this year saw a huge spike in apprehensions.
The I-ACT, which was reactivated last September 2017, noted that the increase in apprehensions were the specific result of its intensified anti-colorum and Tanggal Bulok, Tanggal Usok operations in the National Capital Region, in the towns of Boracay and Caticlan, Aklan; and the provinces of Rizal, Cavite, Pampanga, Laguna, Davao, Cebu, and Pangasinan.
The twin operations were done in cooperation with I-ACT member agencies – Department of Transportation, Land Transportation Office, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, and the Philippine National Police’s Highway Patrol Group.
According to I-ACT data, a total of 4,132 traffic violators were apprehended from January to May 24 compared to 1,379 from September to December 2017 – a 99.9 percent increase.
For the first quarter of this year, a total of 2,555 motorists were issued tickets for defective parts and other violations while 928 vehicles were impounded for colorum, illegal parking, and out of line violations.
Department of Transportation Undersecretary and I-ACT overall head Tim Orbos said the figures show that there are still a lot to be done to solve the traffic woes in the country.
“With I-ACT’s intensified and wider scope of operations, we are able to double our apprehensions compared to last year,” Orbos said.
At the same time, Orbos lamented the fact that there is an increase in the percentage of traffic violators apprehension.
“Though it is a significant achievement for us, it is also a bit disappointing to see the number increase as years go by,” he lamented.
Meanwhile, as there are lots to be done to solve the traffic problem, Orbos said the I-ACT has initiated a number of programs to comply with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Among the programs adopted by I-ACT are the Tanggal Bulok, Tanggal Usok operation which aims to get rid of old and dilapidated public utility vehicles (PUVs), Libreng Sakay for commuters in areas severely affected by the anti-junk vehicle campaign, the creation of Task Force Kamao to put a stop on colorum vehicles, the initiation of coordination with mall owners and operators to suppress colorum activities, the establishment of the Sumbong Bulok, Sumbong Usok hotline where the public can report various traffic violations through I-ACT Facebook Messenger.
“These initiatives are testament to our determination that there is no let-up in our goal towards having safer roads,” Orbos said as he praised I-ACT personnel for their dedication to duty in instilling discipline to motorists.