The power of an ordinance
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
Dumaguete City has a proposed ordinance authorizing the city traffic officers to confiscate the license of any driver violating provisions of the traffic code.
Whether or not the proposed measure, titled “An Ordinance Prescribing the Procedure in the Issuance of Traffic Violation Receipt and for Other Purposes” carries a valid police power of the state, is still to be determined. Under the Local Government Code of 1991, the LGU is mandated under Section 16 of the General Welfare Clause and Section 458 (5-v), (5-vi) to regulate the use of streets, avenues, alleys, sidewalks, bridges, parks, and other public places and regulate traffic on all streets and bridges.
A legal opinion submitted by Councilor Saleto Erames, chairman of the Committee on Rules, said that, after studying the Constitution and applicable laws and jurisprudence, to which local ordinances must conform, he believes the proposed ordinance is a valid exercise of the police power of the state.
The ruling in MMDA vs. Garin, G.R. 130230 (April 15, 2005) cemented the basis for the issuance of traffic violation receipts by a duly deputized traffic enforcer, who may confiscate the license of the driver and its receipt shall serve as temporary driver’s license. The Supreme Court has said that only local governments can enact “general welfare or police power” ordinances.
The proposed ordinance will also give incentives to apprehending traffic enforcer, with at least 10 percent of the aggregate fines and penalties collected, remitted through his salary. The ordinance is now on second reading.
We believe the protection of our people from reckless drivers and violators of traffic rules is embraced by the power and duty of local governments to promote public safety.
We just hope that this ordinance will not be used improperly by apprehending traffic enforcers just to issue traffic violation receipts to motorists to gain added income, but to truly promote public safety.*