Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Benhur Abalos [left] with Mayor Joy Belmonte

Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Benhur Abalos [left] with Mayor Joy Belmonte

By Rjhay E. Laurea

MANILA — Aiming to crack down on traffic violators, enhance road safety, alleviate traffic congestion, and instill traffic discipline among motorists traversing the city, the Quezon City government headed by Mayor Joy Belmonte announced early this morning (October 11), the implementation of the No Contact Apprehension Program (NCAP).

The said program became controversial after public utility vehicle drivers and private motorists expressed reservations about it but after a series of dialogues with the LGU officials, it’s now a “go” for the NCAP implementation.

“Road safety is our priority in Quezon City and with the launch of NCAP, we commit to putting the safety of our constituents first and ensure also the safety of motorists passing through the city by strictly enforcing local traffic rules and regulations at all times,” Belmonte said.

“Bawal na ang mga pasaway na driver sa Quezon City. Hindi natin habol sa programa na ito na kumita ang city government. Kapag walang natiketan, mas mabuti ito para sa lahat dahil ibig sabihin, disiplinado ang lahat ng motorista (Undisciplined drivers are prohibited in the city. We are not after the income. Better for all of us if no tickets will be issued, that means all motorists traversing the city are disciplined),” Belmonte said.

NCAP will utilize state-of-the-art cameras with artificial intelligence technology to capture, photograph, and record the conduction stickers and plate numbers of vehicles in violation of traffic rules and regulations.

When the said cameras detect a traffic violation, the system will generate a Notice of Violation or NOV to be sent to the Local Government Unit for review and approval. Once approved, the NOV will be given to the residence of the registered owner of the vehicle within 14 days and they will be given 30 days to pay their fines.

The NOV entails a photograph with a timestamp of the motor vehicle in the place where the violation was committed, along with the corresponding details relevant to the violation cited. It will also serve as a written warning and a means of alerting citizens that the program is already in effect.

Initially, the local government will implement a 30-day dry-run beginning October 11 where fines won’t be imposed against violators. But after the said period, violators will be fined P2,000 for the first offense, P3,000- P4,000 for the second offense, and P5,000 for the third offense depending on the type of violation.

“Yung mga matatakot lang sa ating batas ay mga violator. We are making sure na may malaking signs sa mga lugar na mayroong camera for NCAP. Rest assured that this program is for the city, for the protection of its citizens, and to instill discipline to our motorists (Those who are afraid of this law are violators. We are making sure there will be huge signs on areas where NCAP cameras are located. Rest assured that this program is for the city, for the protection of its citizens, and to instill discipline to our motorists),” committee on laws, rules, and internal government chairman and majority floor leader Councilor Franz Pumaren said.

For his part, Department of Public Order and Safety (DPOS) head, retired PB/Gen Elmo San Diego, said the program will be beneficial in the enforcement of traffic rules and regulations for citizens and motorists and limits face-to-face interaction.

“This is very timely during the pandemic also because it will lessen the face-to-face interaction between traffic enforcers and motorists and will therefore decrease the risk of viral transmission,” San Diego said.

“Mawawala na din yung pakiusapan at ayusan with traffic enforcers and all motorists shall be encouraged to follow all traffic rules and regulations (Negotiating and bribery with traffic enforcers will be eradicated and all motorists shall be encouraged to follow all traffic rules and regulations),” San Diego added.

“This is the first Public-Private Partnership of the city government. With this program, walang face to face intervention kaya masisiguro nating mawawala na ‘yung pangongotong thus limiting corrupt practices (This is the first Public-Private Partnership of the city government. With this program, there will be no face to face intervention so bribery will be gone thus limiting corrupt practices),” former Investment Affairs Office head Joseph Juico also noted.

The NCAP is being imposed following the passage of an ordinance by the City Council amending the QC Traffic Management Code of 2018.

The program is also said to be an effective tool in road safety and traffic management after it was previously implemented in nearby cities such as Valenzuela, Parañaque, Manila and recently, Cauayan City in Isabela. (AI/MTVN)

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