LGUs told anew: Prioritize fixing traffic lights, road signs amid NCAP suspension

August 31, 2022 - 1:14 PM
A sign warning motorists of Quezon City’s no contact apprehension policy is seen at the corner of Kamias Road and Kalayaan Avenue (July 1, 2022). (The STAR/Jesse Bustos)

Calls to fix traffic lights and road signs were once again made after the Supreme Court ordered the temporary halt of the controversial No Contact Apprehension Policy (NCAP).

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) earlier announced that it will heed the SC’s decision.

“The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority will no longer implement the No Contact Apprehension Policy in light of the statement of Supreme Court spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka that the agency is covered by the SC’s temporary restraining order on the implementation of NCAP,” the agency said on social media.

In a statement on August 30, the SC Public Information Office said that the temporary restraining order covered the transport agencies MMDA and the Land Transportation Office.

It also stopped the local government units of the cities of Parañaque, Valenzuela, Muntinlupa, Manila and Quezon from enforcing NCAP and related ordinances on their respective residents.

The High Court also stated that all apprehensions from supposed NCAP violations are also prohibited.

“The Court also said that any apprehensions through the NCAP programs and ordinances related thereto shall be prohibited until further orders from the Court,” the SC said.

“Enjoin the Land Transportation Office and all parties acting on its behalf from giving out motorist information to all local government units, cities and municipalities enforcing NCAP programs and ordinances,” it added.

How motorists reacted

Several motorists have been opposing the NCAP since LGUs started implementing their own ordinances within their jurisdictions.

They cited hefty fines, confusing road signs and other problems in their complaints against it.

READ: Fix road signs, traffic lights: Suggestions to improve no contact apprehension policy implementation  

Some motorists were elated that the SC decided on its temporary suspension.

Others, meanwhile, continued to call on the government to fix road signs and traffic lights for motorists.

“Improve the roads first, improve the traffic signs, before implementing stricter traffic rules and violations,” one Facebook user said.

“Ibalik mga timers sa bawat stoplight. Intelligent system plus timers para ayos na ayos. Let’s help people to follow rules not trap them,” another user commented.

Some social media users said that drivers should still obey traffic laws and rules amid the suspension.

“Be a good driver…kahit wala na NCAP,” one user said.

How LGUs responded

In separate statements posted on Facebook, the LGUs of the cities of Parañaque, Quezon, Valenzuela and Manila announced that they will abide by the SC’s TRO.

The Quezon City government said that NCAP has been effective in instilling traffic discipline in the city.

“The Quezon City NCAP Program has significantly reduced the traffic violations in the affected areas by 93%. It has shown that it instills a culture of traffic discipline among motorists and we believe that its implementation is legal and proper,” its statement reads.

Muntinlupa Mayor Ruffy Biazon, meanwhile, said that NCAP has not been implemented in their city since it was passed in October 2021.

There are two petitions that were filed before the SC to stop the implementation of NCAP. These are the following:

  • On August 3, transport groups KAPIT, PASANG MASDA, ALTODAP, and ACTO filed a petition for certiorari against the five LGUs.
  • On August 18, a lawyer who was fined over P20,000 for alleged traffic violations sought a TRO on the implementation of NCAP in the City of Manila.

The SC PIO said that the oral arguments for the NCAP case are set for the afternoon of Jan. 24, 2023.