Three… two.. before the seconds struck one and the light turns from green to orange,  I left the line to cross the road of jalandoni-e Lopez strs. I was very sure of the timing because at the back of my mind, I was too conscious that it was safe to cross. As soon as I passed the hypermarket, a traffic officer on a motorcycle intercepted me and asked me to park on the side. His statement, “Maam, nag beating the red light ka!” I wasn’t in shock at all because most probably, this would happen in that area, or maybe happens over and over again as every hour I pass by on that same road, there was never a time no driver is dealing with a traffic management personnel or vice versa, when in fact, seldom can you see a traffic officer managing the traffic flow of the road. What we could regularly observe is that most of the assigned there are standing about 30 meters away from the intersection, waiting for somebody to commit mistakes and boom, “interception!” follows.

I replied to the officer, “Sir, I didn’t. I was aware of the lights and it wasn’t even orange when I crossed.” This is just one of the common scenarios. If you are out of the city resident and are not familiar with what’s going on in that area, most probably, you would turn left coming from Bulilao to Robinsons Jaro because the road gives you three clear wide open options so and most pressingly because the “NO TURN LEFT” sign on the main E-Lopez road is not even visible from your direction. The only reason an officer would say when you unknowingly aware of the rule turned left and reasoned you didn’t see any sign,  is that, “it has been bumped buy a truck and has not yet been replaced.” Thus, at nights, multiple vehicles get into trouble when the enforcers are just waiting beside the nearest Jollibee anticipating for prohibited turns instead and giving the right directions at the center of the intersection. How is that fair?

Another is during morning rush hours at the Iloilo sports complex going out of PLDT Main Luna Street, you would automatically know that there’s a traffic enforcer management on duty when the vehicles line up like a kilometer long causing a much heavier traffic at the back of the complex in Magsaysay road. On the contrary, you would associate that the smooth flow of vehicles is because the drivers are giving way on the absence of one. So the common expression would be, “Siling gid nga may enforcer kay traffic or nice, wala!” why is that so?

These observations are based on the daily transport experience of private commuters who share the same sentiments. I believe that Iloilo City Transportation Management and Traffic Regulation Office can do better when it comes to studying which area needs the most attention and presence of enforcers literally giving signals on the road and who have the best capabilities to practice their trainings and implement city road ordinances as well as the LTO traffic rules because the main concerns are easing the traffic flow secondary to prevention of cars and commuters getting into accidents.

The question is NOT the presence or absence of traffic management officer, rather it’s if the officers are able to take their trainings, seminars and instructions piously or can act on their designated responsibilities conscientiously as expected of them and not just people who would wait for drivers to commit mistakes, intercept and ask, “Ma’am, Sir,  no let turn diri, palantaw bi sang drivers license mo?” Because if the management is committed enough to help put order on the road, then we would see improvements on clear, readable signages located in the most visually ideal area of the drivers or that we could see officers literally managing the traffic especially at night and not just expect mistakes to happen. Should we expect drivers to be liable in these situations, we should ask if the officers in-charged are actually doing their job well?
I have been to seven different countries in Asia and seldom to none can we notice enforcers on the road. There are only traffic lights on most main intersections and the presence of uniformed instruction signages. For whatever reasons that the LGUs still rely the accuracy of our road management on people whom we presume are more efficient and dependable, so be it. After the longest time, let’s try to prove they definitely are. Daily, not only will I keep my eyes on the lights and signages while I drive.