cdn mobile

CCTO favors proposed traffic violator’s amnesty ordinance but…

By: Wenilyn B. Sabalo - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | February 22,2023 - 07:17 PM

Photo courtesy of CCTO

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) has expressed support for the proposed ordinance granting amnesty for traffic violators but recommended a scheduled compromise penalty.

Lawyer Kent Francesco Jongoy, the section head of the Legal and Investigation Section of the CCTO, commended the proposed ordinance saying it would serve as an enabling ordinance that would give authority to CCTO to clear its dockets of at least 20 years old unsettled traffic violations.

He said the CCTO, through the software created by the city’s Management, Information, and Computer Services (MICS) stores traffic violation records that date back to 1996–which produces a collectible of about P5-6 million in penalties.

He, however, requested to the ordinance’s proponent, Councilor Rey Gealon, that instead of implementing the proposed one-time compromise penalty of P1,000 regardless of the number of violations, there should be a schedule of compromise penalties, especially for those habitual offenders.

“Every day, we encounter public utility vehicle drivers having [a penalty of] at least P10,000 or more. During my stay [with the CCTO] from August [2022], we even encountered a violator having an unsettled fine of at least P500,000, and if you could check the list that we have, he is perhaps a habitual delinquent, because he always disregards traffic signs,” he said during the public hearing for the ordinance on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023.

“To give teeth to our traffic regulations and rules with our Revised Traffic Code maybe we can have a graduated amount for those who have unsettled traffic violations,” Jongoy added.

As an example, Jongoy said violators with an unsettled fine of at least P5,000 could be asked to pay a one-time compromise penalty of P1,000, while violators with an unpaid fine of P5,001 until P10,000 can, perhaps, pay, a one-time compromise penalty of P2,000.

Gealon filed his proposed “Cebu City Traffic Violator’s Amnesty Ordinance of 2022” last October 26, 2022. The proposed ordinance is still subject to final deliberations and approval.

His proposed ordinance stands on a legal position that the City of Cebu has no right to collect prescribed fines.

“It is tantamount to unjust enrichment, considering that these sprung from violations of city ordinances, particularly City Ordinance 801 and the Traffic Code of the City of Cebu, where pursuant to the Civil Code, we are only allowed to collect a fine within 60 days from the filing of the case before the court,” he said.

He said these fines have already been prescribed, noting that the fines could be traced way back 10 years ago.

Gealon, who also served CCTO as its executive director in 2015, welcomed the suggestion of the CCTO.

He also shared a strategy implemented during his time, wherein the CCTO after a second or third week of apprehension would consolidate the cases and file these in court, such that prior to the 60-day prescriptive period, these cases will already reach the court.

Jongoy, for his part, also said the CCTO  legal investigation section is currently doing its best to see to it that within the 60-day prescriptive period, they are able to file cases against violators who have yet to pay or settle their violations with CCTO.

He also told the council that a few administrations before, the Office of the City Prosecutor has given CCTO a limit or a maximum of 60 cases per month.

“However, during my stint from August we keep into it that we can file at least a 100. It’s just in their discretion what to elevate in court,” he said.

Councilor Joel Garganera questioned this, which led the city council to ask Gealon to help lobby this matter to the Office of the City Prosecutor.

Councilor Jocelyn Pesquera further suggested to Jongoy to put in writing the CCTO’s proposal on the graduated amnesty amount and to recommend that there will be corresponding “writing off from the records,” to ensure that the Commission on Audit would no longer ask the city to collect these fines after the payment of the amnesty amount.   /rcg

READ: Cebu City dad files ordinance granting amnesty to traffic violators

Mandaue offers ‘amnesty’ to owners of vehicles impounded in the last 5 yrs
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

TAGS: Amnesty, CDN, Cebu City, Cebu City Traffic Office, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, fines, proposed ordinance, Traffic Violators

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.