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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, July 28, 2016
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with Benjamin Calderon


Benjamin Calderon

The current administration is seeking to create a centralized traffic authority under House Bill No. 3 or the "Traffic Crisis Act," which seeks to grant emergency powers for the President.

The bill vests the President with special powers to "reorganize, merge or abolish" the Department of Transportation, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Land Transportation Office, Metro Manila Development Authority, Toll Regulatory Board, Civil Aviation Board and Civil Aviation Authority. This is to address the worsening traffic situation in Metro Manila and in Cebu province which is estimated to cost our economy Php2.4 billion a day.

This development should forewarn other localities of the problem in not providing adequate infrastructure as well as motorist education and discipline needs of the future.   In my opinion, this is a growing need for Dumaguete City and the province of Negros Oriental.   A drive to Bacolod City will reveal the on-going infrastructure development of the national highway and drainage system which includes repair of existing roads and construction of additional lanes.

 On the other hand, here in our side of the island region, we have repair and resurfacing work being done on the existing road and drainage system.  As this need is further neglected, the national road becomes more congested and seems to become narrower as fences and plant growth mark private property lines.   We look forward to our respective local governments addressing this growing need and not wait for having to declare the existence of a traffic crisis problem.

Another kind of traffic that we need to be concerned about is the illegal inward flow of agricultural goods or what we call smuggling.  Yesterday the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikulturea (SINAG) called on the Bureau of Customs to file economic sabotage charges against importers of smuggled onions seized by BOC at the Manila International Container Port.  Under R.A 10845, the amount of smuggled agricultural products subject to economic sabotage is equal or more than P10 million for rice, and equal or more than P1 million for onion and other agricultural products such as sugar, corn, pork, poultry, garlic, carrots, fish, and cruciferous vegetables.  SINAG is asking BOC to do their job well and we join them in doing so.

Let us end with an anecdote to help us to be honest and not to drink and drive as this may unnecessary cause traffic.  A minister is driving down to the city to see a concert show and he's stopped in the highway for speeding. The traffic enforcer smells alcohol on his breath and then he sees an empty wine bottle on the floor, and he says, "Sir, have you been drinking?"And the minister says, "Just water."The sheriff says, "Then why do I smell wine?"And the minister looks down at the bottle and says, "Good Lord, He's done it again!"*

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