Cebu City dad files ordinance granting amnesty to traffic violators
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Councilor and lawyer Rey Gealon has filed an ordinance granting amnesty to Cebu City traffic violators.
Gealon filed his proposed “Cebu City Traffic Violator’s Amnesty Ordinance of 2022” before the council on Wednesday, October 26, 2022, after he delivered a privilege speech taking on the plight of public utility (PUV) drivers and operators when it comes to settling traffic citations.
His proposed ordinance was referred to the Committee on Laws, Ordinances, and Styling for review.
In his proposed measure, Gealon said that a significant number of traffic violators in the city are PUV drivers and operators who have difficulties in paying the fines and penalties imposed by various city ordinances.
Such failure to pay results in the accumulation of interests, subcharges, and, in some cases, storage fees for impounded vehicles.
“There are any traffic violators whose fines and penalties are not enforced or collected since no cases are filed in Court. Despite that, the traffic violations including fines, penalties, interests, subcharges, and storage fees are still recorded in the database of the Cebu City Transportation Office,” reads a portion of his filed ordinance.
“Thus, when a traffic violator transacts at said office, personnel thereat insists and demands payment even though the City of Cebu no longer have the right to collect due to prescription,” it added.
The councilor, who is also a lawyer by profession, said that Section 2 of Republic Act 3326 or “An Act to Establish Periods of Prescription for Violations Penalized by Special Acts and Municipal Ordinances and To Provide When Prescription Shall Begin To Run,” categorically states that violations penalized by the ordinance shall prescribe after two months from the commission of the offense.
Gealon’s ordinance only covers bona fide residents of Cebu City who are registered voters of the city.
For this, he said, they must present a certificate of residency, with good moral character issued by the Punong Barangay, and voter’s certification issued by COMELEC.
The councilor said the amnesty would allow traffic violators to clear their record with the CCTO and help them start anew.
Under his proposed measure, the city government would grant amnesty and forego collection of imposed fines, penalties, interests, subcharges, and storage fees for impounded vehicles provided that the traffic violators pay a one-time compromise penalty of P1,000 regardless of the number of violations, imposable amount, or accumulated storage fee.
The compromise penalty may be availed only for traffic violations committed not later than October 30, 2022.
For those with a pending case in court for any violation of the city’s traffic ordinance can also avail of the compromise penalty.
A proof of payment of such would be a ground for the Cebu City government to desist from prosecuting the case and/or move for the dismissal of the case.
The period to avail of the ordinance would be only within 60 days from its effectivity.
The ordinance would also take effect 15 days after its approval.
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