The Iloilo City Council is still studying the new memorandum of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) which reiterates that only the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and its deputized agents can confiscate drivers’ licenses.
In a media interview on Sept 21, 2022, Councilor Sedfrey Cabaluna said that he is still studying the memorandum and is planning to sit down with the Public Safety and Transportation and Management Office (PSTMO) and other agencies concerned to discuss if the memorandum can be harmonized with the existing local ordinances.
“I’ll ask the PSTMO to see if we can harmonize the memorandum vis a vis the implementation of local ordinances,” he said.
But the councilor stressed that traffic enforcers still have the authority to confiscate the drivers’ licenses when motorists violate local ordinances based on a court decision.
Hence, while the memorandum has not yet been harmonized with the local ordinances, Cabaluna said traffic enforcers can confiscate the drivers’ licenses of those who violate local ordinances.
“Ang aton napanindugan, may Court decision allowing us to apprehend and get the drivers’ licenses. Kon nagviolate sila sang local ordinance, amo ina may authority kita. For the meantime, standby kita sa decision but we still follow the Court decision na we can confiscate when it’s a violation of a local ordinance. Ang korte nagmando, unless it is reversed,” he stressed.
Last Sept. 14, DILG reiterated its Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 01, s., 2008 which provides for the guidelines in the review of local ordinances, orders, rules, and regulations concerning public transportation.
The memo states that while the local government units (LGUs) can issue traffic citation tickets, only the LTO and their deputized agents can confiscate drivers’ licenses.
The memo signed by DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. also directed LGUs to “review their ordinances, orders, and local policies, to ensure conformity and compliance with the said provision and with the entirety of the above-cited JMC.
Nevertheless, Cabaluna said that he will support the directives of the DILG Secretary, particularly on the deputization of traffic enforcers.
“Ang deputization, kon amo na ang direction ni Sec. Abalos, we are also going into that direction. Ginalantaw ta lang ang responsibility kon kaya na bala i-take sang traffic enforcers, ano ang ila responsibilities if deputize sila,” he noted.
Cabaluna added that the deputization of traffic enforcers will go hand in hand with the Traffic Academy program of the Iloilo City government.
Recently, the city government has partnered with different government agencies to formalize the establishment of the Traffic Academy in the city which aims to professionalize traffic enforcers in the metro and eventually improve the city’s traffic management. (DG)