Local government units (LGUs) within Metro Cebu have raised a round-the-clock traffic alert since last week to concentrate on the anticipated increase of motorists and revelers this week as office parties, mall sales and Christmas events are set.
Cebu Gov. Hilario P. Davide III held a meeting with local chief executives and traffic managers on Monday, Dec. 10, in an effort to avert vehicular congestion similar to what happened in December last year.
Davide said he is hoping that the body would reach a resolution that will eventually help Cebuanos avoid a worse road situation this holiday season with the various parties that will be held in almost all barangays in major towns and cities in Metro Cebu.
“I hope the LGUs will cooperate when you will come up with a traffic plan for the coming season to help alleviate the people’s concern over traffic,” Davide said.
The agenda included the conduct of office parties among traffic personnel that coincides with the traffic’s peak hours, synchronized schedule for traffic enforcers, coordination with malls and other private companies for Christmas events and the suspension of roadworks.
Clearing operations along the roads and construction sites were also included in the meeting, which was attended by heads or representatives of LGUs, Land Transportation Office (LTO) 7, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7, Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO), Highway Patrol Group (HPG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Capitol’s traffic officer and south bus terminal manager Jonathan Tumulak explained that the suggestion to postpone parties later this month will allow traffic enforcers to concentrate on manning the streets.
“The suggestion will be beneficial to the LGUs, if ma-traffic ang ilang area, sila ra man sad ang basolon sa mga tawo. I hope they will cooperate,” Tumulak said.
LTO 7 Director Victor Caindec said that he will deploy breath analyzers starting this week in time for the strict enforcement of the Anti-Drunk Driving Act.
Caindec said that the 47 deputized agents will also help in the implementation of the law, especially during this season where some drivers are expected to take alcoholic beverages during parties.
CCTO operations head Francisco “Isko” Ouano said his office will be deploying 400 enforcers in Cebu City, who are expected to render duty for 24 hours in four-shift schedules.
Ouano said that since Dec. 1, the CCTO has been deploying its third shift personnel who will conduct a roving from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
The work shift, according to Ouano will be lifted after the celebration of the annual Sinulog festivities.
Road repairs, except for the Mambaling underpass, have also been suspended until Jan. 16 next year, Ouano said.
Minglanilla Traffic Division head Francis Sanguenza said his team will not hold a Christmas party to focus on traffic management. He also decided to augment barangay tanods in Barangays Sangi-Calajoan intersection to help man the flow vehicles.
The gridlock in December 2017 started at the intersection of Barangays Sangi and Calajoan, Sanguenza said.
City of Naga Traffic Division head Marilou Alferez that they are already conducting clearing operations along the National Highway.
Aside from suspending their leave applications and holding of the Christmas party, Alferez said they are tapping barangay tanods to help manage the traffic flow.
Road separators are also mounted along the highway, Alferez said.
Consolacion Traffic Division manager Felicerio Lecciones said his team agreed to suspend their get-together activity in support of the Capitols request.
Lecciones added that he will deploy enforcers in the town’s busy roads during peak hours, from 5 to 9 p.m. Visibility of traffic enforcers will also be round the clock.
Lecciones said they are asking the DPWH to suspend road improvement works along Barangay Tayud, which was one of the heavily congested areas of the town.
Talisay City Traffic head Jun-Jun Dela Rosa said they are asking the city administrator for additional personnel that will support traffic enforcers from Cebu City in manning the heavy flow of traffic in Laray, Barangay Inayawan.