Albee scraps traffic violation quota memo

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Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez nullified a Bacolod Traffic Authority Office (BTAO) memorandum that directed traffic enforcers to apprehend at least five motorists a day, his spokesperson lawyer Ceasar Distrito confirmed.

The memorandum, which was signed by BTAO officer-in-charge Patrick Lacson and deputy head Jose Antonio Robello, and went viral last week ordered traffic personnel to immediately abide by the order or they may face suspension up to termination for non-compliance.

Benitez who only learned about the memorandum after it went viral immediately issued a Notice to Explain to Lacson on why the memorandum was issued without his approval.

Distrito said that the mayor believes that apprehensions should be based on actual violations and not on a quota system. He added that a quota system would be unfair to both traffic enforcers and motorists.

This prompted Lacson to recall the memorandum. Lacson explained that the intention of issuing the memo was to encourage traffic enforcers to do their job and not be passive. He said that his office received many reports that enforcers were passive even when violations were happening in front of them.

Moreover, Lacson admitted that he failed to consult the mayor and the city legal officer prior to issuing the memorandum.

But he said that he plans to make a similar directive but will have it approved first by the mayor and city legal. Lacson explained that the implementation of a quota for traffic officers is not new as even in New York this is practiced.

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