Besides, Gempesaw said, the city has to stick to international standards, a move it took in 2004, more than 20 years after an international protocol on traffic signs was agreed upon.
He said placing traffic signs in Cebuano will create confusion because Davao
City has a mixed population and some people may not be able to understand the vernacular.
Those who could not understand warnings like "no loading" will just have to figure out universal traffic signs or logo indicated on the signage, he told the city government television program "Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa" (From the masses, to the masses") Sunday.
But even kids can understand English, he said, citing the high literacy rate of Filipinos.
Davao City will rerun on Jan. 18 its P140-million new traffic signalization system, which Gempesaw described as "Asia's most modern" to date.
Gempesaw, reacting to a suggestion from the program's audience to use Cebuano for traffic warnings, said there is no such move by the city government.
He said even in Cebu City, home of the Cebuano language, the traffic signs are not in the vernacular.
He announced Sunday the start of the gradual rerun of the new traffic signalization system on Thursday. He said they will start turning traffic lights gradually, in four junctions first, after it was suspended last month.
The new traffic lights will be used first in the Toril, Ulas, Matina Crossing, and Quimpo-MacArthur junctions in Matina. He said after two to three days of trial they will continue with the intersections along Quimpo Boulevard.
Gempesaw said they will then proceed via phases to Recto/Claveria Avenue, Magsaysay/ Uyanguren, and the Quirino–Bangkerohan up to the Maa-MacArthur intersection.
He also announced "minor" experimental traffic rerouting starting Jan. 18.
He said west-bound motorists along Quirino Avenue coming from the south, like Matina, could no longer turn left at San Pedro Extension along Bangkerohan.
He said they have to turn right at Magallanes Street, turn left at Legaspi Street, and then turn left at San Pedro Street.
He said South-bound motorists coming from Davao Doctors Hospital, also along
Quirino Avenue, are no longer allowed to turn left directly at Magallanes.
Motorists have to turn right along San Pedro Street, turn left at Marfori Street, then left at Magallanes Street.
He said they have carefully studied the scheme and that it is intended to give more time for traffic to flow in those two "bottleneck" junctions. He asked the public to cooperate amid the adjustments.
He assured the public of guidance from traffic enforcers on the new traffic system. All traffic enforcers, he said, attended a briefing Sunday on the new traffic lighting system.
Gempesaw said technicians of project contractor Abratique and Associates, including four American consultants, are fine-tuning the system.