Stiffer penalties eyed on road obstructionists

CEBU, Philippines — The Mandaue City Council has recently approved on first reading an ordinance that seeks to increase the penalty on sidewalk obstruction, revoking business permits of establishments using the sidewalk, clamping of vehicles illegally parked, among others.

City Councilor Jimmy Lumapas, who authored the Anti-Abuse of Roads and Sidewalks Ordinance of 2019, said that this proposed measure is very timely as the city government, through the City Legal Enforcement Unit, is intensifying its clearing operations of roads and sidewalks as prescribed by DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2019-121.

Lumapas explained that they have observed that many of those who have been given citations for violating City Ordinance No. 2001-003 or the Anti-Abuse of City Sidewalks Ordinance, are habitual offenders.

“The penalty of fine, even with its amendment, is way too low to serve as a deterrent. It is respectfully submitted that as noble as the objectives of the law are, they remain elusive because the penalty is unrealistic,” Lumapas said.

The president, through the DILG, had earlier directed all local government units to exercise powers essential to reclaiming public roads and alleys which are being used for private ends.

The local chief executives are also directed to revoke permits, giving authority to private entities occupying or using the thoroughfares and sidewalks.

“Hence, it is now imperative for the City Government of Mandaue to look closely on this matter and for the passage of a suppletory ordinance which will practically curb the proliferation of these activities and practices which relatively endanger the public safety and thereby restoring the city sidewalks to the pedestrians and passersby,” read the ordinance’s explanatory note.

The proposed measure is reportedly essential for the City Government of Mandaue to exercise essential powers to reclaim public roads and sidewalk.

Once this ordinance is passed, it will be unlawful for any person, natural or juridical, to abuse the sidewalks, footwalks or shoulders of city streets and major thoroughfares by selling or vending in retail or otherwise, any goods, articles, merchandise or commodities or engage in any business or trade, by putting up stalls or structures, stocking or piling or causing the putting, stocking or piling of things or materials or equipment of any kind whatsoever or parking, displaying, vulcanizing, washing, assembling and repairing of vehicles, motorcycles, tricycles, bicycles or trisikads that shall cause obstruction on any portion of the sidewalks, footwalks or shoulders of streets within the City of Mandaue.

In this ordinance, sidewalks or footwalks, which shall be free and cleared from all forms of obstructions mentioned in the immediately preceding Section, shall be measured as follows: Barangay road (1.2 meters); City road (2 meters) and National road (3 meters).

For the first offense, the violator will be slapped with a P3,000-fine.

Succeeding offense would lead to confiscation of articles, goods, or merchandise, impounding of subject vehicles, motorcycles, tricycles, bicycles or trisikads and demolition of stalls or structures and a fine of P5,000 or imprisonment of not more than 15 days, or both, at the sole discretion of a competent court.

If the violation is committed by a juridical person, the proprietor, manager, director or person in-charge with the management of the firm shall be held liable to the penalties mentioned.

The corresponding towing fees are charged for every impounded vehicle, motorcycle, tricycle, bicycle or trisikad based on the existing towing ordinance;

All perishable items not claimed within an hour, after their confiscation, shall be deemed forfeited and confiscated in favor of the City Government of Mandaue. Perishable items shall be deposited and kept at the Office of the Market Administrator.

The non-perishable items not claimed within 72 hours, after their confiscation, shall be deemed forfeited and confiscated in favor of the City Government of Mandaue.

The same shall be kept under the custody of the City Legal Office Enforcement Unit;

The proposed measure added that carwash facilities, whose actual areas shall have included and extended to the sidewalks, footwalks or part of the main road, shall be prohibited.

Whenever a vehicle is illegally parked along the road or upon the footwalk or sidewalk, the TEAM personnel shall immediately install the tire clamp pursuant to City Ordinance No. 14-2018-1367 or the Mandaue City Tire Clamping Ordinance. (FREEMAN)



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