No more ‘yellow ladies’ in Bukidnon’s highway

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/08 Oct.) – Bukidnon’s female traffic enforcers have failed in their task to educate motorists obliging the provincial government to stop their services, an official said.

Lawyer Alberto Lagamon, provincial administrator, told MindaNews the services of the 14 “yellow ladies” were no longer renewed after their last quarterly contract expired on Sept. 30.

He said that in the five years of their existence the female traffic enforcers, as deputies of the Land Transportation Office (LTO), had focused more on apprehensions instead of educating the public on traffic rules.

“It defeats the purpose of having them, which is to help hasten the traffic flow. Basically [their job is] to educate the public,” he added.

Lagamon cited there were several complaints of alleged irregularities by the traffic enforcers which are being investigated by the provincial discipline committee.

He said Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr. may retain those who would be found to have committed no irregularities and if they fit available positions in the provincial government.

Lagamon said his proposal was to keep the qualified personnel under the Civil Security Unit and make them focus on traffic education.

In 2008, the traffic enforcers were hired in response to Bukidnon’s reputation as the province with the second highest number of highway accident mortality in the country.

The ‘yellow ladies” were hired after previous schemes, like deputizing personnel from the police and other government agencies failed to address the problem.

In 2009, Arthur Ranque, an LTO official who led the female traffic enforcers, said drivers and vehicle owners became more conscious about vehicle registration and other regulations.

He attributed this to the increase in the apprehensions of violators since the last quarter of 2008.

As of March 2009, the women enforcers had caught a total of 1,119 violators and impounded 59 vehicles. But drivers also became angry at them and complained that some of them were arrogant.

But Ranque said the women were just trying to be polite and firm at the same time, adding even politicians and police officers were also stopped for violations.

He said some politicians or influential persons lobbied at the Capitol for exemption or to tell the governor that the “yellow ladies” should be reprimanded for alleged arrogance, “but nobody was exempt from the law. The governor was fair about it.” (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)