CCTO to proceed with confiscating driver’s licenses despite warning from LTO
CEBU CITY, Philippines—The Cebu City Traffic Office (CCTO) will proceed with its plan to start confiscating drivers licenses of erring motorists in the next few days despite the warnings of the Land Transportation Office in Central Visayas (LTO-7) against it.
According to Francisco Ouano, the chief of the CCTO, they are backed by the city ordinance authorizing them to confiscate the driver’s licenses of erring motorists in the city, which was signed by Mayor Tomas Osmeña in 2018.
Ouano told Cebu Daily News Digital that the CCTO plans to implement the ordinance within next week, or once the mayor releases an executive order mandating the start of its implementation.
This ordinance is being opposed by LTO-7, citing Republic Act 4136, or the The Land Transportation and Traffic Code, which states that only LTO and its deputized agents can confiscate a driver’s license.
Ouano said that once they begin to implement the ordinance, he expects that this will be taken “badly” by LTO-7.
He said they expected that LTO-7 may file charges against CCTO and the city government. However, he said, the city’s legal team is getting to ready to respond.
“We are studying the legalities of this. We only hope that LTO-7 will see the necessity of the Citom to confiscate the drivers licenses since we are directly manning the traffic in the city,” said Ouano, addressing the CCTO by its former name, Citom (Cebu City Traffic Operations Management).
Ouano said that he will also continue to appeal to LTO-7 to deputize the CCTO, as being able to confiscate the driver’s licenses of erring motorists is essential in managing the traffic in the city.
He said that he has earlier sought for deputization of his traffic enforcers from LTO-7 director Victor Caindec but the latter deputized only Ouano.
However, Ouano said he could not be the only one who should be deputized since the other traffic enforcers of CCTO would also need the power to confiscate the licenses if they are to be taken seriously by erring motorists.
“Unsa ra man na ang citation? Kataw-an ra man na sa mga drivers. If ganahan ta nga matagam gyud ni sila, iconfiscate gyud nato ni ang mga lisensya,” said Ouano in a phone interview on Sunday, February 10.
Ouano said that in a dialogue with officials of the LTO national office, he was told that the regional director may deputize individuals and other agencies enforcing the traffic laws to confiscate driver’s licenses.
He noted that in Metro Manila, Iloilo and Sarangani, job order employees engaged as traffic enforcers were deputized by LTO and have the authority to confiscate driver’s licenses. The same should be done in Cebu City, he said.
At present, Ouano said, drivers whose licenses were confiscated by Cebu City’s traffic enforcers can still drive for five days without the license. However, if they leave the Cebu City, they take the risk of getting apprehended for driving without a license.
Ouano also urged the city council to devise ways to help the CCTO address the worsening traffic conditions in the city.
“Tinabangay lang unta ta ba. Dili lang ta pirmi magkontrahay kay grabe na gyud ang ato traffic. Grabe na gyud,” said Ouano. /elb
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