Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte assured the Tricycle Operators and Drivers’ Association (TODA) leaders and other motorists that there will be a fair and just implementation of the No Contact Apprehension Program in the city.
Belmonte made the assurance following the 21st City Council’s approval on second reading of the amended QC Traffic Management Code of 2018.
In a dialogue with TODA presidents, attended by the Mayor together with Vice Mayor Gian Sotto, Majority Floor Leader Coun. Franz Pumaren, Committee on Transportation and Tricycle Franchising Board Chairperson Coun. Ramon Medalla, Task Force for Transport and Management Action Officer Dexter Cardenas, and Tricycle Regulatory Division head Benjamin Ibon III, the councilors clarified some provisions included in the proposed amendments along with insights from TODA representatives.
“We cannot use the pandemic to stop instilling discipline here in our city because this pandemic will still be with us for a long time. Can you imagine if there are no rules or guidelines? Ang dapat matakot lang dito ay iyong may balak lumabag sa batas,” Pumaren said during the city council session.
Amendments to Article 25 of the QC Traffic Management Code include penalties and fines for violations under the No Contact Apprehension Program.
The No Contact Apprehension Program involves the development, installation, operation and maintenance of a road rules enforcement program that will use the latest and most widely used and accepted traffic enforcement cameras, software and tools.
Through this system, violators caught on camera shall be sent a Notice of Violation to their home address or registered email address within 14 working days, and will be given 30 days to pay their fines accordingly.
Belmonte stressed that the NCAP ensures the safety of both the motorist and the traffic enforcer as physical interaction is eliminated, and that the budget saved from hiring more traffic enforcers can be used to augment funds for social services.
“Nais lamang ng lungsod na maging mas ligtas ang bawat isa lalo na at nasa kalagitnaan tayo ng pandemya. Sa pamamagitan nito, pantay pantay nating maipapatupad ang batas sa lahat, ng walang palakasan. NCAP also promotes discipline and obedience among our motorists as they need to abide by our traffic rules even without the presence of traffic enforcers. The fines actually serve as a deterrent; you will not commit a violation because you know there is a corresponding penalty for it. I would like to assure everyone that nothing unjust will prevail in this city,” Belmonte said.
Last January, Mayor Belmonte, Investment Affairs Office head Joseph Juico, and QPAX CEO Manolo Steven Ona signed an agreement for the installation, development, operation, and maintenance of the NCAP to aid the city with a more systematic, and less corruption prone means of apprehending road traffic violators. This is the city’s first ever Public Private Partnership, and will be implemented at no cost to the city.