CA rules MM LGUs can come up with own traffic rules

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 07 2013 01:43 PM | Updated as of Jan 08 2013 01:24 AM

MANILA (UPDATED) - The Court of Appeals (CA) has affirmed the authority of local government units in Metro Manila to come up with their own traffic ordinances while at the same time issuing a single ticketing scheme for traffic violators in the metro.

In a 16-page decision penned by Associate Justice Edwin Sorongon, the appellate court's 6th Division junked the petition of FEJODAP, ACTO, ALTODAP, PASANG-MASDA, MMBOA, PISTON, MJODA, IMBOA, NEMBOG, NTU, and PBOA for lack of merit.

The petitioners questioned the enactment of the Metro Manila local government units (LGUs) of their respective traffic ordinances in 2003-2005, the common provision of which provided the issuance of Ordinance Violation Receipt (OVR) in cases where motorists commit traffic violations. This OVR shall be honored by all LGUs in the metro, the provision states.

The petitioners argued that the ordinances run counter to Republic Act (RA) No. 7924 (An Act Creating the Metro Manila Development Authority [MMDA]) and RA No. 4136 (Land Transportation and Traffic Code). They further contend that the single ticketing system should be implemented by MMDA, not the LGUs.

In its ruling, the appellate court held that the ordinances of the various local governments in the Metro Manila area are legal and constitutional.

"[W]e are of the considered view that the same (ordinances) are not contrary to RA 7294 and RA 4136. Neither are these Ordinances unconstitutional... RA 9274 governs the delivery of metro wide services whereas the authority of the concerned LGUs to enact the assailed ordinances was a necessary effect of the delegation by Congress of its law making power," the decision read.

On the petitioner's plea to compel the MMDA to implement a single ticketing scheme, the appellate court held that it cannot issue a writ of mandamus in their favor because they "failed to come up with a strong neglect on the part of the MMDA in the enforcement of its duty to draw up a single ticketing system," which is essential to compel an agency to perform a specific act.

The appellate court further pointed out that the petitioners should have first filed a petition with the MMDA council to "inquire on the status of the planning, if there is any, regarding the installation of the single ticketing system."

The MMDA issued Resolution No. 12-02, dated Jan. 26, 2012, adopting a single/uniform ticketing system to address the "need to establish a uniform traffic ticketing system and harmonize the existing national and local laws on traffic enforcement and to prevent confusion among private and public motorists, and to establish an effective transport and traffic system in the country, starting in Metro Manila."