By Leonardo Micua
WHEN is an ultimatum really an ultimatum?
We ask this question because we find the ultimatum given by the city council of Dagupan to two bus companies operating in the city to iron out their differences is seemingly open-ended, with no end in sight.
Time and again, the SP extended the deadline for the two bus companies to come up to terms over the access road, now owned and exclusively used by Victory Liner and refuses to allow rival Solid North to use it.
The situation forces the buses of Solid North no alternative but to enter and exit from its terminal through Perez Boulevard, and every time they do that, they put traffic at stand still for at least a minute on that stretch, a violation of a city ordinance that prohibits an egress and egress near an intersection.
If my memory serves me right, the first ultimatum given by the city council to Victory Liner and Solid North was by end of 2017.
This was continuously extended until August 28, the last ultimatum, when an exasperated Councilor Alvin Coquia, chair of the SP committee on transportation, gave the two companies what he called the last and final ultimatum: October 1 this year to finally come to terms or else.
Coquia said if these companies cannot agree on the call of the legislative body to liberalize the use of the access road for all buses in the area, the SP will be compelled to recommend to the city mayor the closure of their respective terminals. Both are violating a long-standing ordinance enacted way back during the administration of then Mayor Cipriano Manaois that expressly prohibits the establishment of a passenger terminal whose ingress and egress are within 100 meters of a street intersection.
This ordinance was amended later by the present Sanggunian, extending the prohibition of terminals whose ingress and egress are within 200 meters of a street intersection.
If the closure is ordered, Five Star, a sister company of Victory Liner, will have to be closed as well even if it is allowed use of the access road.
The continued inability of Victory Liner and Solid North to arrive at a compromise as directed by the city council has placed the city council and the entire officialdom of the city in a very tight situation as the latter prepares for the opening of SM Dagupan on or before December this year, which can expectedly worsen the flow of traffic in the area and the grand terminal being built on Jose de Venecia Expressway in Lucao will not be operational until late this year.
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The numbers tell.
The continued daily arrests of drug suspects by the police in Pangasinan show that the whole province is still far from being drug-cleared. The police early on had targeted end of 2017.
An average of 40 or more drug suspects are still being arrested by the police each week buy-bust operations, serving of search warrants and Oplan Sita, as gleaned from the daily police reports being sent to us by the Police Provincial Office and the Regional Police Office.
We observed that even in places previously declared as drug-free by PDEA, a number of emerging drug personalities and former drug surrenderers who went back to their old shady past of drug dealing, are being arrested and charged.
We can perhaps view this as the last and final phase of drug clearing in Pangasinan, combing every nook and cranny of the province.
Thanks to Police Regional Director Romulo Sapitula and Police Provincial Director Wilson Lopez for cracking the whip on all chiefs of police, to level up in their performance in the war on drugs and the campaign against loose firearms and illegal gambling to improve peace and order, or ship out.
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