CCTO open at 6 a.m. to facilitate payment for clamped vehicles

THERE has been no letup in the Cebu City Transportation Office’s (CCTO) implementation of the traffic ordinance during the Sinulog period.

However, it is opening its doors earlier at 6 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. so owners of vehicles that have been clamped can pay the fines immediately.

CCTO operations chief Andres Bayarcal said they adjusted their office hours in response to the letter couple Anthony and May Leuterio sent Mayor Edgardo Labella, dated Jan. 10, 2020, after their vehicle and 25 other vehicles were clamped in the vicinity of the Basilica del Sto. Niño during the early morning novena mass.

The Leuterios said a CCTO vehicle was parked close to where they parked their vehicle, yet the enforcers did not approach to warn them. They said they were surprised to find their vehicle clamped when they returned from the mass.

“While we commend the Citom (now CCTO) for their efforts to decongest traffic, the enforcers should have a sense of responsibility to detect and prevent a violation before it can be committed. Instead, the Citom enforcers chose not to initially bother the drivers of the recently parked vehicles but instead waited for us to go to the church first so they could conduct their clamping. This was obviously not right,” the couple wrote in their letter.

Bayarcal said they had placed “no parking” signs in areas and advised vehicle owners to heed these even if enforcers don’t approach them.

However, he said some of their enforcers are new and need to know more about enforcing the law.

Since the novena mass started on Jan. 9, the CCTO has clamped more than 140 vehicles for illegal parking.

The CCTO has prohibited parking in the basilica’s vicinity as it adds to congestion. It has designated parking areas on the grounds of the Compania Maritima Bldg., which is located across the Cebu City Hall executive building, and at the post office next to the Plaza Independencia.

Illegally parked vehicles are subject to clamping with a penalty of P1,500.

For areas with no signs, Bayarcal advised motorists to think if they will cause obstruction.

The CCTO has deployed close to 700 personnel to man traffic and to apprehend violators during the Sinulog period. / JJL