Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Opol freezes Barra road levy

THE Opol government suspended over the weekend the implementation of a barangay law that authorizes the collection of fees from drivers of ‘‘commercial’’ vehicles that use a road in the village of Barra.

The suspension order came even as the town government started looking into the complaints of taxi and jeepney drivers in regard to the road-use fees, said Opol town administrator Fermin Jarales.

On Saturday, Jarales reportedly told Barra barangay chairperson Emiliano Madronal to temporarily stop the collections in view of the investigation.

Jarales said the town government would also look into the validity of the Barra ordinance.
"We will look into the legitimacy of the ordinance. In the meantime, the collections of fees will be suspended," said Jarales who was acting mayor. The mayor, Dixon Yasay, was reportedly in Manila.

Last week, a group of mostly taxi and jeepney drivers complained about the collections and questioned the validity of the barangay ordinance.

One taxi driver said that collectors have been asking him to pay P2 to P5 every time he would bring a passenger to the place.

Madronal, the barangay chairperson, reportedly maintained that the collections were legal. The collections go to the barangay treasury, the chairperson was quoted as saying.

The barangay law, Ordinance 2002-030, authorized the collection of fees from drivers of public vehicles, including market vendors, who use the road leading to Vamenta and Jonhdorf subdivisions.

Jarales said the ordinance would likely need some changes if investigators find any of its provisions ‘‘fishy.’’

Jarales said Madronal was invited to shed light on the ordinance during a session of the town council today.

Cagayan de Oro Journal tried to interview Madronal but his staff said the official was attending a meeting.

A woman at the barangay office who spoke on condition of anonymity said collectors were only collecting P2 from every taxi and jeepney driver. She denied allegations that some drivers pay as much as P3 to P5.

She also apoligized for the way Madronal behaved during an earlier interview with this paper. An angry Madronal hung up in the middle of a phone interview. "We are sorry for what our chairman (Madronal) did during the interview.’’

Jarales said Barra officials could set up a billboard to inform the public about the ordinance. He said collectors also need to be easily identified by the public.

"They should be responsible to the public. They should not allow ordinances to become problems but solutions," Jarales said.

He also said investigators would check if the ‘‘cash tickets’’ given to drivers were properly documented for auditing purposes.

The tickets being used by Barra officials were bought from the town government. These came from the provincial treasurer’s office.

"that can be read at Gold Star Daily>

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

that's correct my friends... rampant collection of fees..thanks