Ordinance proposes to limit hours of roadworks in Cebu City

THERE will be no roadworks on main streets in Cebu City during rush hour.

That is, if City Councilor Nestor Archival’s proposed measure entitled “Anti-Road Disruption Ordinance of the City of Cebu” is passed and implemented.

The official came up with the idea after he noticed that roadworks undertaken by some government agencies and public utilities have added to the city’s worsening traffic problem.

Section 4 of the proposed ordinance states that “it shall be unlawful for any public and private utilities to conduct construction works on main roads from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. every day of the week.

The City Council has already referred the matter to the committee on laws for review.

Aside from prohibiting construction works that cause traffic, Archival’s proposal also wants to prevent any disruptions on commute, business and transportation, which lead to loss of opportunities and economic crisis.

Violators will have to pay P1,000 for the first offense, P2,000 for the second offense and P3,000 for the third offense.

For four- and five-time violators, they will have to pay a fine of P5,000 or face 10-day imprisonment or both. Private utilities and organizations will also pay a fine of P5,000 and their business permit will be suspended for less than three months.

The City Transportation Office (CTO) will be the implementing agency that will carry out the provisions of the ordinance and the agency in charge of apprehending or reporting violators.

The Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) will be in charge of regulating construction works undertaken by public utilities by assigning DEPW personnel to inspect the sites.

City Engineer Kenneth Carmelita Enriquez said Archival’s proposal is doable if they closely coordinate with the traffic office.

Enriquez said that as early as the planning stage of the project, its time and work duration should be set and established so contractors participating in the bidding will know. This should also be announced during the pre-bidding stage.

Archival pointed out the study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency in 2018, which showed that Metro Cebu’s economic losses amounted to P1.1 billion daily due to unresolved traffic congestion.

Construction works undertaken by utility companies such as digging create traffic as these require the closure of roads and lanes, forcing motorists to “wait in traffic queue slowly filtering past street works.”

Aside from road works, other major causes of traffic that Archival enumerated were poor urban planning, the increase in the number of vehicles and lack of discipline among motorists, as well as the commuting public.

On Oct. 15, 2019, the Cebu Provincial Government declared a traffic crisis due to long hours of daily commute and land travel in the metropolitan area. (JJL)