By Robby Joy Salveron, Intern
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – To avoid being caught by traffic enforcers, 70-year-old Rosmar Alfonso took the stairs of the overpass in a shopping mall along JP Laurel avenue on Friday morning.
But Alfonso said that while he supports the strict implementation of Anti-Jaywalking Law, senior citizens like him should be given consideration.
“Uyon kaayo ko pero unsaon nalang ang mga senior? Unsaon nalang ang mga naa’y sakit tapos layo kaayo ang pedestrian lane? (I agree with the law, but how about the elderly? How about those who are disabled yet pedestrians are very far?),” Alfonso said.
Apparently, Alfonso is not aware that the City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO) has an exemption for elderly, persons with disability, and pregnant women.
Executive Service Officer Pinuel Fernandez of CTTMO said in an interview Friday morning that persons with disability (PWDs), pregnants, and senior Citizens are exempted of the law.
“Ang mga PWD, buntis ug senior citizens mao nay exempted. Dili na sila dakpon (Persons with disability (PWDs), pregnant and senior citizens are exempted. They will not be caught),” he said.
Fernandez stressed that in fact those people should “always be aided by traffic enforcers” when crossing the streets.
Charlotte Parba said the exemption of the elderly, pregnant and PWDs is not stated in the ordinance but enforcers are exempting “for humanitarian consideration, practicality, and for their safety.”
“They will not be apprehended even if they do not use the pedestrian lanes or the overpass,” Parba told Davao Today.
She also said the elderly, PWD and pregnant women should seek assistance from traffic enforcers nearby.
The CTTMO has already started the strict implementation of the Anti-Jaywalking ordinance, Thursday morning. The office has apprehended 233 violators during the first day of implementation, while 53 more individuals were apprehended as of 11:30 am on Friday.
Jaywalkers are penalized P100 or four hours community service and are required to attend a seminar scheduled every Friday.
Even with the large number of violators, Fernandez said he believes that the CTTMO has “done enough to inform the Davaoeños about the law”.
“We have done enough effort to disseminate information. Maybe people just lack discipline,” he said.
The city government sees the anti-jaywalking ordinance as a way to decongest the worsening traffic situation in the city. (davaotoday.com)