By Liwayway Yparraguirre
DAGUPAN CITY – The local government started implementing Saturday a number coding scheme for private vehicles between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., as the city has been placed under general community quarantine.
The coding ordinance states that private vehicles with a license plate or conduction sticker ending in numbers 1 and 2 are prohibited to pass and traverse the major thoroughfares of Dagupan every Monday; 3 and 4 every Tuesday, 5 and 6 on Wednesdays; 7 and 8 on Thursdays, and 9 and 0 every Friday.
The major thoroughfares along the central business district that are off-limit depending on the private vehicle’s plate number include A.B Fernandez Avenue, A.B Fernandez East, and West, Burgos and Burgos Extension Street, Perez Boulevard, M.H.del Pilar Street, the entire stretch of Arellano-Bani, Tapuac Lucao Road and Mayombo-Caranglaan Road.
Private vehicles just passing through Dagupan going to Lingayen or Western Pangasinan from Eastern Pangasinan and vice versa may take the Bonuan-De Venecia Expressway-Lucao or Calasiao-De Venecia Old Highway-Lucao road, the ordinance states.
Among the exemptions are public utility vehicles, motorcycles, and motorized tricycles subject to separate legislation; ambulance, fire trucks, law enforcement vehicles, and properly marked media vehicles; government-issued vehicles with red plate; service or delivery vehicles such as for food, water, power and communication, fuel tankers, construction supplies, and medicine or vaccine delivery.
Also exempted are private vehicles of Dagupan residents falling under the Inter-Agency Task Force category of authorized persons outside residence (APOR) and APOR from outside Dagupan but whose work is in the city.
The Sangguniang Panlungsod approved Ordinance No. 0-751 on private vehicle number coding authored by Councilor Cisco Flores on their special session on May 15.
Members of the city council also approved the recommendation of Councilor Celia Lim not to impose penalties yet from May 16 to 22.
She said a certain period must be devoted to the massive information campaign about the coding system by the city’s Public Information Office (PIO).
The penalties for violation of the ordinance are PHP500 for the first offense, PHP1,000 for the second offense, and PHP2,000 for the third offense.
An ordinance violation receipt will be issued by the apprehending Public Order and Safety Office traffic enforcer.
The approval of the ordinance is in response to the urgent request of Mayor Marc Brian Lim to the city council for the passage of an ordinance regulating the operation of private vehicles within the territorial jurisdiction of Dagupan.
Lim said the city remained a vital financial center and trading post and indispensable market for basic necessities of its adjacent municipalities even in this period of community quarantine.
“Considering the sheer number of vehicles trooping to the city’s central business district, the new normal dictates the need to regulate private vehicles along the major thoroughfares of Dagupan through the adoption of a number coding scheme during the quarantine period,” he said.
He added this is to restrict the movement of people in order to prevent community transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). (IA/PNA)