BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan reiterated his earlier order to all barangay officials in the city’s 128 barangays to free city and barangay roads from obstructions that impede the smooth flow of traffic and compromise the safety of pedestrians and motorists alike.
The city chief executive issued the order after receiving complaints from firefighters of the Baguio Fire Department of private vehicles parked on both sides of roads within Engineers Hill that resulted to their delayed response to a fire incident last May 28, 2016 within the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) compouind.
“It is high time that the city council pass the necessary amendments to our 32-year old traffic and transportation code to require private vehicle owners proof of availability of parking spaces prior to the registration of their vehicles. This will prevent them from using the sides of roads as their private parking spaces compromising the safety of life and limb, especially during emergency situations,” Domogan stressed.
He added that the staff of the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) stations covering the different barangays are not sufficient in case they will be deployed to apprehend illegally parked vehicles on roads that impede the smooth flow of traffic, thus, the need for barangay officials to be actively involved in the campaign to free city and barangay roads from such obstructions to prevent the untimely loss of lives and damage to properties.
According to him, the appeal to barangay officials for them to have the political will in removing the obstructions on roads has always been part of the regular meetings of the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) with city officials every first Friday of the month.
The city mayor explained that the requirement of a parking space prior to the registration of motor vehicles is only applicable to public utility vehicles but it is high time that the requirement will also be imposed to private vehicle owners in order to compel them to make sure that they will have sufficient parking spaces for their vehicles and not to appropriate aroad sides as their private parking space. It is noted that these roadside parking is one of the major causes of traffic congestion.
Domogan said barangay officials should not wait for a repeat of the fire incident at Engineers’ Hill where firefighters had difficulty maneuvering their way into the fire scene DPWH motorpool area because of numerous private vehicles parked along both sides of the road. More structures may have been saved if there was no delay brought about by these parked vehicles.
He exhorted barangay officials not to wait for concerned government offices and law enforcers to publicly announce which the barangays which have obstructed roads before making concrete actions. Further, he said that it should be inherent upon them to take appropriate actions in order to free their roads from illegally parked vehicles that serve as major obstructions to the smooth flow of traffic in their areas of jurisdiction.
With the opening of classes on June 13, 2016, the Mayor’s call is very timely. It may well be added that barangay residents should monitor these appropriated road spaces and report them to their barangay officials, at the same time, monitor the performance of their barangay officials on this matter.
By Dexter A. See