Saturday, July 26, 2014
Exec deplores Dagupan’s boo-boo on “No Helmet Law”
By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY – A regional manager of a government agency deplored the legislative blunder committed by the city government here after it passed and signed into law the “No-Helmet Policy” in the central business district so it can prevent motorcycle riding in tandem (MRT) criminals.
“Paano naman kung nabangga ng truck o jeep o ibang sasakyan pagkatapos na-hospital o namatay kasi walang helmet, sino ang mananagot? Ang city government o konseho kaya?,” posed, as a reaction to this paper’s last week column titled”Idiotic No-Helmet Law in Dagupan City “ by Manager John Celeste of the National Irrigation Administration-Region 11 .
This city’s acting Mayor Maybelyn Fernandez signed into law last July 21 Ordinance No.2013-2014. Its principal author Councilor Jose Netu Tamayo said its implementation will be on late of August or early of September this year.
Salient feature of it says:”..Mandated to remove the same at authorized checkpoints by law enforcement agencies; provided that motor vehicle riders with speed limit below 15 kph are likewise exempt from wearing helmets at the Central Business District, including but not limited to Caranglaan, Mayombo, M.H. del Pilar, Arellano, A.B Fernandez, Gulig, Malued, and such other areas hereafter identified as economically viable for growth”.
The Ordinance said that the fine shall be payable to the City Treasurer’s Office within three days or seventy hours from the date of the issuance of the Citation Ticket. Moreover, it said that upon payment of the required fine, the driver’s license shall be released immediately. However, if after three days, no penalty payment was tendered, the corresponding case for violation of the City Ordinance shall be filed in the Municipal Trial Court for appropriate trial.
The ordinance metes the following fines of P200.00 for first offense, P300 for the second offense, P500 and imprisonment for the third offense and subsequent offenses receive various flak from the media and the motorists as it violated the national Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009 (Republic Act No. 10054) .
Land Transportation Office –Region 1 Director Teofilo F. Guadiz warned motorcycle riders in his various interviews in radio and television networks here that his personnel will flag and fine motorists and their riders on the very first day of the ordinance's implementation.
He said that any person caught not wearing the standard protective motorcycle helmet in violation of this Act shall be punished with a fine of P1,500.00 for the first offense; P3,000.00 for the second offense; P5,000.00 for the third offense; and P10,000.00 plus confiscation of the driver’s license for the fourth and succeeding offenses.
“Ordinance can not prevails over national law,” he kept telling the media networks.
The pronouncement of Guadiz sent chills to motorcycle riders who are now in dilemma what to do when they enter this city as the personnel of Public Order & Safety Office can flag and fine them.
“Susundin ko ang national law kahit mag away pa kami ng POSO hindi ako patatalo ,” motorcycle rider and broadcaster Jerry Cambay told recently Northern Watch.
He said if somebody will organize a rally against the "No-Helmet Law" he and his motorcycle riding friends will join.
Celeste, a resident here and the former manager of NIA Region 1 cited Davao City’s local government stringent implementation of the national helmet law.
“Dito sa Davao City napakalaki kasi tatlo ang distrito nito istrikto ang Helmet Law at pagpasok mo lang sa boundary huli agad ang walang helmet.”
He said this city can effectively fight criminals because it has a miniscule area than the large Davao City, where he holds office.
“Palagay ko mas madaling ma monitor kung peace & order pinag-uusapan kasi maliit ang ciudad natin. Sabagay dito sa Davao City may 290 CCTV compare sa atin baka wala pang five”.
He said the mayor and the chief of police here can seek advice from this city’s former chief of police Wendy Rosario since he is now the Director of the Police Regional Office-11 based in Davao City to teach how to maintain peace and order and deter or apprehend MRT without violating the Motorcycle Helmet Act.