A quality ordinance for IBT PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 29 June 2015 11:56

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

 

The newly completed Integrated Bus Terminal (IBT) so far is the best I have ever seen in this part of Mindanao. Aside from its wide space, the design and choice of service and business spaces are well planned. It is a cross between an airport terminal and watercraft port terminal in big busy cities. If this will be operational, it should also be complemented with a well plan and studied City Ordinance regarding its operation because without a quality City Ordinance, the important landmark of the cit, will be a “white elephant” in the future with the same fate of the DOT convention center in Pasonanca Park and a schoobuilding somewhere in Barangay Sangali that dilapidated without serving its purpose. What a waste of public funds.

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The IBT is constructed at the cost of several hundred million pesos and with it to be operational must come with a complete staffing pattern, budget and janitorial services for the upkeep and maintenance of her facilities. It must come with a forecast because it will be part of the City Enterprise and the Ordinance must see to it that the IBT will work like a million-peso business, even if it is a public facility. The ordinance must ensure that the operation of the IBT should be handled by competent managers who know his “salt” in the operation and it must not be given to someone for accommodation. The IBT must not be treated like a “sari-sari” store where even a housemaid can manage it

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Reliable information says that the IBT will soon operate with no clear staff and budget. The people to be assigned to operate the brand new terminal will come from the different city offices picked-up at random without the benefit of checking their qualification and expertise. It will be like sending civilian volunteers to do battle with the enemy. If this will happen and not to belittle the planners of the IBT, it will be the worst decision ever made by the city government. Those who will be picked up to do duty at the IBT will be those casual or contractual employees at the different city offices who don’t have any assignments or good qualifications. Anybody can be a “barker” or “traffic man” in a bus terminal but the operations must be handled by qualified people because if not, it will be a case of “the blind leading the blind”.

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The City Council must enact quality City Ordinance to ensure that the operation will last for years and not only for one election term. Seemingly almost all the City Ordinances in effect right now are haphazardly done and its effectiveness are shortlived. For example, you cannot legislate against or for a customs and traditions or against a national law. It is not only redundant but “ignorance of the law excuses no one”. The IBT must be treated with a special concern for its existence and benefit and that it should be given a well studied City Ordinance, one that the city can be proud of and not be ashamed of it anytime of the year.

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Problems of traffic, river quarrying, illegal logging, and all forms of smuggling have Republic Acts and Special Laws prohibiting them and do not need a City Ordinance to enforce them in the city, maybe a direct order from the city to the enforcement authority is sufficient for an arrest or apprehension and to adopt a City Ordinance to reinforce those national and special laws is tantamount to grandstanding.

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A personal friend occupying a high government position who visited the city recently said that the city council must adopt quality City Ordinance to curb the complex problems in the city, one that should not only reprimand and punish the offender but even the enforcer who abuses or is lax in its enforcement, because laws and ordinances are useless if taken for granted. Look what is happening right now, litterbugs are all over the city and gambling on street corners happen everyday sometimes near police outpost but not one litterbug or gambler was ever arrested and jailed. Jaywalking is never implemented and it becomes part of the people’s daily routine.These are some of his observations and all of us personally have observations of violations which we keep to ourselves, because we feel nothing happens if reported. Amen to that.

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Scoop: Illegal quarrying is damaging the rivers at the West Coast but in the first place who monitors this destruction after the city government issues permit to quarry to businessmen? Who handles the issuance of these permits and are they monitoring the expiration of these permits? Sir and Madame, remember there is no such a thing as a “perpetual” permit, review your functions and arrest the violators, even if election is almost to come, then we will salute you.