City transport leader says illegal parking delays jeepney travel time

A traffic enforcer “slaps” a notice of violation on a private vehicle illegally parked in Iloilo City. (PSTMO photo)

By Joseph B.A. Marzan

A leader of a transport sector cooperative on Tuesday acknowledged that the recurring problem of illegal parking along Iloilo City’s major and smaller roads has also become detrimental to the city’s public transport system.

Iloilo City Alliance Operators and Drivers Transport Cooperative (ICAODTC) General Manager Rizalito Alido told Aksyon Radyo Iloilo that they have been consistently complaining about roadside parking on national roads, especially on the routes of public utility jeepneys.

Alido said this problem had been recurring even before the entry of modernized jeepneys.

“For example, at J.M. Basa and Iznart [Streets], Diversion Road [or Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue], on other national roads, and in the Mandurriao area, [cars parked on roadsides] are a hindrance to traffic which delays [jeepneys] every day,” Alido explained.

He added that enforcers from the Public Safety and Transportation Management Office (PSTMO) aren’t too quick to collar private vehicles that park on roads.

He specifically mentioned the current practice of private vehicles where they turn on their hazard lights, which are usually done for tentative parking, and stay in place for a longer time.

“This has affected us, especially the modernized units, our traditional units previously, in delaying their return to the point of origin. Illegal parking is something we still couldn’t solve. Our traffic enforcers are just there, but when it comes to private vehicles, they seem to be indisposed,” he expressed.

“Whenever we pass by [traffic enforcers], I would have to signal to them and ask, ‘Why aren’t you going after [those vehicles]? Why are you tolerating them?’ Because some [private cars] just turn on their hazard lights but stay there [for] 30 minutes to 1 hour, […] in ‘No Parking’ areas,” he observed.

While calling out to PSTMO chief Jeck Conlu, Alido opined that despite the “visible addition” of new traffic enforcers monitoring the city’s roads, something is still lacking.

“I thought all the while that lately, [because the PSTMO] hired more traffic enforcers, the traffic situation would be alleviated, but nothing seems to be happening,” he said.

“That is why we are calling out to our friend, [PSTMO chief] Jeck Conlu [and] enforcement unit [head Victor Legaspi], there are already many modernized [jeepney] units out there, and it’s high time for consistent operation, not that they operate one day and go back the next week. How do we discipline our drivers like this?” he added.

Conlu told Daily Guardian via Messenger that traffic enforcers “operate every day, even on Saturdays and Sundays,” but admitted that there was an “everyday challenge” of disciplining drivers despite big, visible traffic signs.

“We are trying our best to discipline drivers every day,” Conlu said.