Table Talk: Can the city create a Metro Zambo Devt. Department? PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 06 January 2012 14:53

Now that Mayor Celso L. Lobregat has ordered the full implementation of City Ordinances on Anti-Littering, Anti-Jaywalking, No Parking Zones and others to restore order in the city, by way of suggestion, can the city government through the city council create a body solely to oversee the full implementation of these very important City Ordinances? This is of course if the City Police Office will deputize members of this proposed body, so it can do some police authority similar to the traffic aides, deputized by the LTO. This suggestion is unsolicited but it has a great impact on the delivery of public order services since the PNP in the city has always been complaining of inadequate manpower.
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The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is one body created by the combined local governments of Metro Manila to do and implement all those that cannot anymore be handled seriously and meticulously by other departments of the national government. The MMDA is tasked to implement all parking laws and ordinances. It directs traffic and can apprehend and issue citations o traffic violators. They can demolish squatter shanties through a court order, remove obstructions to pedestrians like sidewalk vendors and can implement cleanliness and sanitation laws and above all the MMDA officials can recommend to the local government units special projects for the convenience of the public like where to construct overpasses, public urinals, passenger waiting sheds, where to designate loading and unloading areas for public utility vehicles and even recommend the closing of businesses should they find them violating some city ordinances. The MMDA is semi-independent and it has its own annual budget but reports to the local executive department for its operation.
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One thing good with the MMDA, if armed with a court or local government order, it can enforce such order because it has a dual deputized authority of civilian and police authority. Actually the existence of the MMDA is like a legal and authorized shadow government. It has its own logistics and complements. Its organization of personnel is complete, it has its engineering brigade, traffic enforcers, intelligence section, motorized patrol unit, it has a fleet of service vehicles for multi-purpose usage in times of calamities, emergencies and demolitions of shanties. Those big trucks can be used to ferry stranded people when the public transport in Metro Manila goes on strike.
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We are not suggesting to the city government to have one like MMDA, but we can copy the idea on a smaller scale with a tolerable annual budget that can help the city implement city ordinances which other city departments cannot anymore pay attention to either the department is considered a non-performing asset (NPA) that is a candidate for closure or the department has many overlapping function that should be trimmed down and replaced with a Metro Zambo Development Department (MZDD). It might be an impossible idea but with Zamboanga City’s annual income and with the billions of pesos reserved in banks, the city is capable of creating a department that can change the image of the city from a disorderly Latin City to a tourist destination Latin City, home of the indigenous and cosmopolitan people where the ancient culture is part of the modern times.         
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Scoop: Joke Time:  Because Makati City is Number 1 in strictly implementing the no parking zone, my friend Musa from Marawi City,  a very successful trader who never graduated from the elementary level but very, very rich, one day drove his brand new SUV right at the heart of Ayala Avenue. Shortly before high noon, he parked his car in a vacant area of the street to look for a restaurant to take lunch. Just after alighting from his car, a traffic police approached him and asked for his driving license, Musa inquired to the police and said “ano ang violation ko sir?” The policeman pointed to a signboard just beside his car which says NO PARKING.  “Yan ang violation mo”. Musa like a typical simple man angrily said to the policeman “ sir, isang oras na ako nag drive dito sa Ayala Avenue, wala ako nakita YES PARKING. Ituro mo sa akin saan para punta ako doon.” What more can you say with that kind of reason? It’s a good thing that the sign board did not say NO PARKING ON BOTH SIDES otherwise Musa will tell the Police “ituro mo sa akin Paano ko hatiin yung kotse ko.”