Council OKs on first reading ordinance to help fight crimes PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 16 July 2013 12:04

The City Council has further strengthened its commitment to help Mayor Beng Climaco’s administration address the problem of criminalities that has been pestering Zamboanga City for months now.

This, after the august body approved in first reading in its regular session yesterday a proposed ordinance requiring all motorcycle owners to secure verification of identification and stickers authenticity (VISA) card, which would accompany their vehicles’ renewal of registration yearly.

Said new requirement is embodied in proposed Ordinance No. 2013-23, authored by District 2 Councilor Miguel “Mike”’ Alavar III, and co-authored by Councilors Eduardo Saavedra, Cesar Jimenez Jr. and Josephine Pareja.

Alavar believes that with this ordinance, getaway vehicles, especially, motorcycles of crime suspects riding in tandem, could easily be detected through these Oplan VISA stickers, which would be printed in bold letters, and visibly posted on rear portions of said vehicles.

Alavar cited a case of dramatic deterioration of lawlessness in Central Luzon, where the Philippine National Police (PNP) implemented the use of Operation Plan VISA (OPLAN VISA), that yielded several arrests of murder and robbery suspects, using motorcycles as their getaway vehicles.

“Since the law’s inception, Region 2 PNP Regional Director, Chief Supt. Rodrigo de Gracia, has started reporting a dramatic decline in criminality in his area of responsibility, as crime suspects subsequently, got arrested,” Alavar related.

He also hinted about former PNP Chief Nicanor Bartolome’s call on local government officials, to follow General de Gracia’s crime solution strategy, by adopting a similar ordinance in their respective localities.

Under this ordinance, Alavar said, local owners can secure the needed stickers and Oplan VISA Card for free, upon registration of their motorcycles either at Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) or at the City Treasurer’s Office.

However, non-residents of Zamboanga who wish to have their motorbikes registered here, would have to be charged P100 for each unit.

“If this Oplan VISA would be fully-implemented here, there is no way for colorum motorbikes to freely roam around the city day and night, because they can easily be spotted by our lawmen,” Alavar explained.

Alavar’s proposed edict also provides penalties for those who will be caught driving motorcycles without the stickers and Oplan VISA Cards, ranging from P500 for the first offense, up to P3,000 for habitual offenders, with corresponding imprisonment of up to three days, depending upon the court’s discretion. — Philip Abuy