MMDA Seeking Harsher Penalties For Jaywalkers

Arson, murder, and. . .jaywalking?

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) was formed to look into some of the worst crimes in the Philippines. One way that they do so is by maintaining a database of offenders from all over the nation.

When you get an NBI clearance, your name is checked against this database and, if you get a hit, you could find yourself being investigated and facing penalties.

If the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has its way, one of the offenses that will get you pinged by the NBI will be persistent jaywalking.

Investigated by the NBI

The MMDA is now seeking authority to file charges against jaywalkers who will fail to comply with paying fines and rendering community services.

MMDA General Manager Jojo Arturo Garcia said on January 31 that he has requested all the local government units (LGUs) to give them the authority to file charges against offenders who will contravene with the ordinance.

Apprehended violators who would continuously infringe with the ordinance or those who would have “hits” on their records would immediately be forwarded to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). The MMDA will have all the power to file a case against them under the local law.

“Ibig sabihin kapag nakahuli kami ng nagja-jaywalking, hindi binayaran yung fine o kaya hindi nag-community service, pwede na namin silang file-an ng kaso sa paglabag sa local ordinance,” said MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia.

The agency is expecting that the resolution would be finalized this February so that the organization can start filing charges “soon.”

Intensified Anti-Jaywalking Campaign

Here in the Philippines, anti-jaywalking violators should render at least three hours of community service every last Friday of the month or have an option to pay a P500 fine.

Among the activities available for community service are cleaning of drainages, picking up garbage on the streets, and cleaning up the Pasig River.

With the new and approved resolution, if you don’t pay the prescribed P500 fine or complete the obliged three hours of community service, the MMDA will have the authority to file charges against you. Charges includeresisting arrest and/or public nuisance.

Although, with multiple apprehensions, your information will be forwarded to the NBI, still, it will not reflect on your records unless you will be accused with criminal charges.

MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia has noted that LGUs within Metro Manila are already imposing their own ordinances against jaywalking but to intensify the campaign, they will still need to deputize the agency to enforce the approved ordinances.

This is in line with the new resolution proposed by the MMDA on uniform anti-jaywalking ordinances, which are already approved and could be implemented in the next 30 days.

(Read: What Happens If You Flee From A Traffic Enforcer?)

Endorsed by Metro Manila mayors

As of the writing, there’s no official word from the NBI about their proposed role in imposing penalties on jaywalkers. But the MMDA’s plans have been endorsed by a major policy-making body.

According to a report PNA, the Metro Manila Council (MMC) agreed on January 31 to deputize the MMDA to enforce jaywalking ordinances. The MMC is made up of Metro Manila mayors.

MMDA general manager Jose Arturo Garcia lauded the decision of the Metro Manila mayors, which he said would give the MMDA “more teeth” in their fight against jaywalking.

“If we apprehend a jaywalker and he disregards the ticket, we can file charges for violating a local ordinance and forward his name to the NBI,” explained Garcia.

It should be noted, however, that even if the MMC has endorsed the measure, they have to sign a resolution before implementation, which they have yet to do as of posting time.

Other sources: MMDA, The Philippine Daily Inquirer