July 23, 2024

■  Hanna C. Lacsamana   

INTERCONNECTIVITY PACT — The city government of Baguio and the Land Transportation Office signed a memorandum of agreement to implement the Interconnectivity System in Baguio. The MOA was signed by Mayor Benjamin Magalong, LTO Asec. Vigor Mendoza, and officials of other concerned agencies. — Neil Clark Ongchangco

The city government of Baguio and the Land Transportation Office-Cordillera have signed an agreement to share data and other information that will facilitate apprehension of traffic violators and improve transport system as a whole.

The signing of the memorandum was led by City Mayor Benjamin Magalong and LTO Asec. Vigor Mendoza and other key officials on June 26 at the City Hall council session hall.

The agreement, among others, allows for interconnectivity of data on drivers’ records between the local government and the LTO-Department of Transportation and Communication that results in having fast and centralized access to information on traffic violations.

Mendoza said the data sharing aims to improve traffic management and discipline among drivers and motorists, and streamline payment of traffic violation penalties.

LTO would also be sharing technology-assisted law enforcement to the city’s law enforcers as a way to expand the “eyes and ears” of law enforcement efforts.

“That way, as we tie up with LGU, motorists will follow traffic rules for their road safety. More importantly, our aim really is not just to apprehend, but to make motorists comply with traffic rules,” Mendoza said.

He added the LTO and the city government will work on harmonizing its schedules of penalties imposed on traffic violations, assist the city’s law enforcers by way of deputation, and sharing of the technology on digital ticketing so that recorded traffic violations will be transmitted to the LTO database.

The interconnectivity helps implement Republic Act 10930, which provides violations incurred by drivers will serve as demerits and will be a ground for non-renewal or revocation of their license.

“Since we will be linked, LTO would be able to have information on drivers who commit traffic violations so that we will know those that do not settle their obligations and addressed it accordingly, since this will affect their renew of driver’s license,” Mendoza said.

Magalong said the MOA aims to ensure sustainable, resilient, and effective transportation ecosystem in the city which part of the city’s Smart Urban Mobility Project, one of the components of which is law enforcement improvement.

“Our aim is not to generate revenue, but to change the behavior of drivers and motorists that will lead to an efficient transport system and reduced carbon emission,” Magalong said.

Mendoza said Baguio is the first major city to be interlinked with LTO’s information system. He expressed hope the agreement will be a start of other exchanges and joint efforts to promote road safety.