5 apprehensions a day? Bacolod mayor spox addresses viral traffic enforcers’ quota memo

April 22, 2024 - 11:35 AM
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Image by Pamukti _D via Unsplash

The spokesperson of Bacolod City Mayor Albee Benitez said that the city chief had not approved the circulating memo giving traffic enforcers a quota of apprehensions per day, according to a report.

Lawyer Caesar Distrito said that the city chief has immediately asked Bacolod Traffic Authority Office (BTAO) head Patrick Lacson to explain the memorandum and the rationale behind its supposed issuance.

“Be that as it may, Mayor Albee had already directed them to withdraw or nullify such memorandum if they indeed issued it as it has no approval of the mayor,” Distrito was quoted as saying in a statement posted by the Negros Daily Bulletin last Saturday.

“He emphasized that it is not valid and effective, and ordered all Traffic Enforcers to ignore the same. Mayor Benitez believes that the apprehension of violators should be based on the actual violation, and not on the basis of quota system,” the lawyer added.

“It would be unfair to both our traffic enforcers and motorists to be subjected with this pressure, and they will be prone to abuses,” Distrito concluded.

The statement was issued after a media outlet and a Redditor posted about a memorandum supposedly signed by Lacson and BTAO Deputy Head Jose Antonio Robello on April 3.

The memo, addressed to “traffic enforcers, supervisors and strikers,” said that “all apprehending officers must have at least 5 (five) apprehensions a day.”

“Non compliance may result to suspension or termination. Effective immediately. For your guidance and strict compliance,” it said.

Alleged Memo From Bacolod Traffic Authority Office
byu/ZestycloseDouble7704 inPhilippines

A Pinoy on the r/Philippines subreddit commented that such policies could be a “source of gov’t (government) revenue” instead.

“They may ‘fake’ violations to keep with quota rather than actual violation,” the Redditor commented.

“Reminds me of that town in Alabama where basically, their only revenue was fines from aggressive ticketing,” another Redditor wrote, mentioning an area in the United States.

In 2022, it was reported that Brookside, Alamaba in the US “raked in so much revenue from traffic fines and forfeitures in 2020” despite having no traffic lights and only “a handful of two-lane roads.”

“‘Officers in Brookside have been accused in lawsuits of manufacturing reasons for traffic stops, overcharging and ‘making up laws,'” AL.com was quoted by NBC News as saying.

The Land Transportation Office has a webpage dedicated to driving violations and their corresponding fines to guide drivers on road apprehensions.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority also has a document listing traffic penalties and their fines for motorists’ knowledge.