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Way to discipline

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SUNDAY SURPRISE. That social laboratory of street anarchy that is the stretch of Gen. Hizon Ave. at the side of the Metropolitan Cathedral in downtown San Fernando was a showcase of order – no parked vehicles, not even a bicycle, no counterflowing padyak-sikels and motorcycles, no crisscrossing pedestrians anywhere. As well as a spectacle of spanking cleanliness – not even a single candy wrapper, in an absolute absence of garbage.

Ay, puede naman pala.

Monday validation. Press release from the city information office: The City of San Fernando, thru the City Public Order and Safety Coordinating Office (CPOSCO), conducted its regular monitoring and clearing operation around the city public market and sidewalks to tighten peace and order in the said places referred to as “Discipline Zones” on January 06…

…The “Discipline Zone” is a Philippine National Police program wherein national laws and local ordinances in designated areas are strictly implemented and enforced to promote discipline and ensure adherence to the law. (Question: Should not the whole city, and for that matter, the whole country be considered a “discipline zone” given that it is “national laws and local ordinances” that are being “strictly implemented and enforced”? Banish the thought for now, so as not to disrupt the flow of this piece.)

Prohibited acts inside the “Discipline Zone” are as follows: Overloading, Not wearing helmet, Disregarding traffic signs, Over Speeding, Illegal parking, Smoking, Jaywalking, Littering, Vandalism, Illegal vending along passage ways and sidewalks; and violation of other pertinent statutes.

All Fernandinos are enjoined to adhere to the rules and regulations of the “Discipline Zone” to avoid penalties and sanctions.

Anyone caught violating traffic and public order rules will be sanctioned and meted with fines ranging from P500 to P1000.

At last, at last, at long last, the city government has come to its senses to instill proper discipline among its constituents.

“This activity is one of the city’s measures to elevate the peace and order status in San Fernando. Let us, Fernandinos, be the first to show discipline and order so other cities and municipalities could follow.” So was Mayor Edwin Santiago quoted in the PR. Indeed, sa ikauunlad ng bayan, disiplina ang kailangan. No, it does not take only a Marcos in-tyranny to see this.

Tuesday, Wednesday affirmation. In pictures posted on its Facebook account, CPOSCO engaged in relentless operations – night and day – against: violators of No Helmet Ordinance (NHO) and tricycles entering Poblacion Area, illegally parked heavy vehicles and violators of NHO along JASA and MacArthur Highway, particularly at Barangay Del Pilar near New Public Market and in front of SM City Telabastagan, tricycles traversing JASA and MacArthur Highway.

Did I just say Wednesday?

Driving with the wife along JASA around 9 a.m. this very Wednesday on the way to Mexico, I followed two tricycles through the flyover and thereafter was joined by three others and two motorcycles with helmetless riders taking all the lanes but the outermost one. All this, in clear sight of at least five CPOSCO enforcers! And a team of Land Transportation Office “flying squads” flagging trucks for some random emission tests!

Instant reaffirmation now of the pessimism thrown by a number of netizens on CPOSCO’s page – Ningas Cogon, Nganga, Sana all… 

From all appearances, CPOSCO is engaged in some cat-and-mouse game with truck and tricycle drivers and motorcyclists – scofflaws born to ignorance, nurtured in arrogance, inured in disorderly conduct.

Aye, the cat is not even away and the mice are freely, fearlessly at play. Which begs the proverbial sixty-four-dollar question, hopefully as yet unanswered in Philippine pesos.

Encourage them to be consistent every day and don’t forget to reward them with appreciation. So exhorted the City of San Fernando page sharing the CPOSCO operations photographs.

So, I take heed. Precisely, consistency – plus constancy, fairness and firmness, of course – in the enforcement of the law is the key to achieving discipline – on the road, and for that matter, elsewhere. Impacting this as much to the erring drivers, as to the errant enforcers.

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