Sunday, June 3, 2012

Get Your Bribe Money Ready

LTO might take over traffic enforcement on SCTEX...

Council backs LTO’s bid for NLEx, SCTEx control

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Regional Development Council in Central Luzon’s Sectoral Committee on Infrastructure Development (SCID) backed the bid of the regional Land Transportation Office (LTO) for jurisdiction of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) and Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx).

During its regular meeting at Party Place in this city, SCID chairman and Bulacan Governor Wilhemino Sy-Alvarado said: “We strongly support and endorse the desire of LTO to have jurisdiction over NLEx and SCTEx since 98 percent of both highways are within Central Luzon and not Metro Manila.”

“Since the regional LTO similarly supports the appeal of PamCham (Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc.) on this matter, we will immediately issue the necessary resolution and forward it to LTO central office,” he added.

Sy-Alvarado told Sun.Star Pampanga that the move would finally do away with the inconvenience of over-speeding violators in claiming their licenses from the central office in Quezon City.

“We have strategic offices of LTO in Central Luzon including the regional office. It is but logical that confiscated licenses should be claimed in the nearest LTO office or at the regional office, which can then transfer the license in at least a day to the district office where the motorist comes from. We will definitely work this out,” he said.

Earlier, LTO Regional Director Oliver Macaspac disclosed they were lobbying anew for jurisdiction of the two expressways in response to the appeal of PamCham to reconsider its policy involving over-speeding motorists where violators have to retrieve their confiscated licenses from the LTO main office.

The business group, led by its chairman emeritus Levy Laus and president Marco Antonio Jimenez, had written Assistant Secretary Virginia P. Torres, to propose that erring motorists be given the option to claim their confiscated licenses and pay the corresponding penalty from either the LTO main office or the LTO regional office here to avoid inconvenience and additional expenses.

Macaspac said, “We do understand the predicament of PamCham and other concerned motorists. We are looking at this with urgency and will continue to lobby at the central office for us to have jurisdiction over NLEx and SCTex just like SLEx [South Luzon Expressway] is under the operations of LTO Region 4 (Calabarzon),” recalling that on July 21, 2010, Asec Torres had already approved of LTO Central Luzon’s jurisdiction over the NLEx and SCTEx but was reverted back to central office jurisdiction through a memorandum circular dated July 29 of the same year for unknown reasons.

Macaspac, along with PamCham vice chairman Rene Romerop expressed elation and hope that with the RDC-SCID endorsement, the appeal would be fast-tracked.

“Just imagine that about 70 percent of those who use both expressways are from Central Luzon. It would be of great convenience for motorists in the region. Plus, once the LTO gets jurisdiction over the two expressways, traffic there could be strictly regulated in all areas including after the toll exits where it is free for all. And then they would be able to curb apprehensions without evidence. We deeply appreciate the endorsement and support of the RDC,” Romero said.

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