A united effort by the city and other government agencies and schools concerned in order to curb or lessen traffic problems in schools along the national highway during the school opening and subsequent rush hours on weekdays, will be launched on June 1, Friday at the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University-Mid La Union Campus, with the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).
Last Tuesday, San Fernando City Mayor Pablo C. Ortega met with Philippine National Police (PNP) regional director PCSupt. Franklin Jesus Bucayu; La Union Police Provincial Office director PSSupt Ramon Purugganan; Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Eng. Elpidio Paragas; Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Regional management Council, represented by port manager Silverio Mangaoang, Jr;
Land Transportation Office (LTO) officer-in-charge director Francis Ray Almora; Holcim Philippines representatives, traffic personnel and barangay chairmen of Sevilla, Carlatan and Catbangen; school representatives of Christ The King College (CKC) High School, DMMMSU and St, Louis College (SLC); and the City Media Bureau, represented by officer in charge Anne hazel Flores, to discuss the details of the devised plan and try to implement them by the start of classes on June 4, 11 and 13, school opening of the CKC, DMMMSU and SLC respectively.
The MOA focuses "on the improvement of vehicular and pedestrian traffic along national highway fronting DMMSU Mid-Campus, CKCHS and SLC."
The said schools are all located in the national highway and are the perennial cause of traffic snarls during school days and also during rush hours, particularly during 6 to 9 AM and 4 to 7 PM.
Among those discussed were the moving of a pedestrian lane from the northern portion of the national road to the south of DMMSU’s front gate for easy flow of vehicles; setting-up of loading and unloading bays and no parking zones; and one-entry and one- exit at the front gates;
the removal of barriers and setting a permanent loading and unloading areas in front of the SLC and the enforcement of the no-parking zones, as suggested by Mayor Ortega; and the strict implementation of traffic penalities in these areas through the enactment of city ordinances that would subsequently be imposed after a one-month dry-run, as suggested by Liga ng Barangay vice president Ramon C. Ortega;
At the CKCHS, the designation of tricycle, bus and public utility jeeps’ loading and unloading sites and the implementation of the No-U-turn and No- Left- turn and the setting of No Parking areas in front of its gate.
Gen. Bucayu tapped on barangay chairmen Rodolfo Bacani of Carlatan; Rodolfo Milanes of Sevilla and Ferdinand Versoza of Catbangen to coordinate with traffic personnel and the city traffic aides to help control traffic in these places.
He added that there maybe some impatience from the general public in the implementation of the new plan but urged them to bear with it as it is to provide a semblance of orderliness, safety and security of both the students, the riding public and the pedestrians.
Mayor Ortega added that the on-going construction of the overpass in front of the Lorma College and Hospital along the national highway in barangay Carlatan maybe finished by June to ease traffic jam in the north.
Aong with Lorma, there are also plans to built overpasses next, at the DMMMSU in the south and at the SLC in Lingsat.
It is expected that these laid out plan, adding the finishing of the new overpass in Lorma, a frequent traffic congested-area, would be a relief to both the motorists, students and pedestrians this school year.
Mayor Ortega and Gen. Bucayu each also asked the media to help in the education and information drive for the plan, also dubbed as the traffic discipline.
Signatories of the MOA, aside from the said officials, would also include Andrew M. White of Holcim; Rolly Bersola , San Fernando City chief of police; Veniedo O. Reyeas, DPWH regional director; Rev. Fr. Gilbert B. Sales, CICM, SLC president; Sis. Teresita Lara, ICM, school directress of CKCHS; and Dr. Reynalso M. Laudencia, DMMMSU-MLUC chancellor.