By Joseph B.A. Marzan and John Noel E. Herrera
Just before the New Year, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas warned the city’s traffic enforcers to help manage traffic and not just collar violators, or risk immediate suspension or worse, lose their jobs.
On Saturday, Dec 31, 2022, Treñas released a statement that starting 2023, traffic aides must be “on the street helping manage traffic and not only finding fault,” otherwise they would be meted a two-week suspension, effective immediately.
The mayor also called out those traffic aides who are seeking shelter under trees and not doing their job, as they should be in the middle of the action, instead of idly standing or sitting under the shed.
He even went far as to warn traffic enforcers of immediate dismissal should they continue to commit similar offenses.
“[A]ny traffic aide whom I will find or reported with a picture talking to another traffic aide will immediately be suspended for two weeks. Same suspension will be for those hiding under the trees. Similar offenses will merit dismissal from the service,” Treñas said in a statement.
He told Daily Guardian via text message that this was based on complaints he personally received, although he declined to elaborate on more details.
“Many are not on the road, some are texting on the sidewalk or talking among themselves and some are only so keen on issuing penalties—they should help manage traffic,” the mayor said.
Treñas also urged the public to help the city government and report those traffic enforcers who are not doing their work.
“I am enjoining everyone to help me by taking pictures using your cellphones and send the same to me through Facebook pages of the City Government,” he said.
Meanwhile, Iloilo City Public Safety and Transportation Management (PSTMO) head Jeck Conlu also said that he has already reminded all district supervisors to strictly watch and remind those ‘on-duty’ traffic aides to do their jobs.
In October 2022, Treñas also warned traffic enforcers after he received complaints of alleged corruption, such as accepting bribes and extorting some motorists.
In the same month, over 300 traffic enforcers also underwent a day-long training session, which was part of the Traffic Academy program of the city government.
“Ini ang pamaagi para ma-professionalize naton ang aton mga traffic aide sa syudad para ma-improve naton ang ihibalo, ang skills, ang attitude gid sang aton tagsa ka mga traffic enforcer and we will also correct their wrongdoings while working,” Conlu previously said.
Erring traffic aides can be reported to the city government through its Facebook pages.