It was intended to succeed , even before it actually took off the ground, except for the series of snags that obstructed the current two-month dry-run of a major traffic rerouting scheme—with all roads leading to the new Dumaguete Transport Terminal at the Robinsons Place mall.
The Dumaguete City Council overwhelmingly voted to pass a resolution asking the Mayor to order the Traffic Management Council and Traffic Management Office to “cease and desist” from continuing the dry-run on traffic re-rerouting of the North/South/West bound public utility jeepneys and multicabs to the newly established P 25 million integrated transport terminal facility at the back of Robinsons Mall.
Under an existing city ordinance, the Traffic Management Council headed by the city mayor is to propose significant traffic rerouting changes and secure a City Council approval before any dry run is to be conducted about the proposed changes.
On the other hand, the TMC reasoned out that depending on the results of the two-month dry run, the TMC will comply with the council requiremen of securing its imprimatur , after it shall have gotten results and conclusions about the dry run.
The dry-run, which started on November 12, was aborted even before the hard copies of the resolution were forwarded to the agencies concerned. Some pundits claim that the real culprit of the ill-fated dry-run with the end view of relocating all terminals inside a single facility was the failure of the administration to provide the City Council with early information and request for authority from the Sanggunian, which according to law has the power to “regulate the use of streets, avenues, alleys sidewalks, bridges, parks and other public places and regulate traffic on all streets and bridges as well as establish or regulate passenger terminals.”
Cordova noted that the re-routing of the traffic was highly irregular and caused adverse effects on the livelihood, additional fuel consumption and untold burden on public welfare, especially the riding public.
However, City Legal Officer Neil Rey Lagahit Indefending Mayor Sagarbarria declared that there was no law, statute or regulations that were violated in the course of the dry-run. He added that the dry-run was implemented to merely ascertain the viability of the proposed routes.
Councilor Antonio “TonyRems” Remollo scored the failure of the city administration to conduct a massive information drive before conducting the dry-run, which he claimed caught many drivers and operators off guard and commented that the privately-owned terminal is too small to accommodate all the public vehicles from north and south.
However, even if the resolution and the overwhelming negative review of the traffic dry-run renders the proposed traffic schemes in limbo, Remollo said that the relocation of all terminals at an integrated facility in Robinson’s can still be realized.
The Traffic Management Council must present before the City Council a scientific study that would warrant a resolution authorizing a dry-run to determine its viability but only after the authorities have duly informed the general public.
Question is: will the mayor will heed to the council’s negative imprimatur?—without prejudice by the council, in approving the same once requirements of the law are complied with. (by Dems Demecillo)