Stealing road signs

December 17, 2019

SINCE 2013, some 42,558 pieces of road signs and other warning devices have been stolen or vandalized in various parts of the country, drawing the ire of motorists, passengers and even pedestrians.

Everybody knows that the government, through concerned offices and agencies, installs traffic signages, warning signs and protective devices, such as highway or bridge railings, to avoid vehicular accidents.

We, like other well-meaning Filipinos, cannot overemphasize the importance of punishing individuals found guilty of stealing or vandalizing vital street, road and highway traffic signs and warning devices.

That’s why we commend members of the House of Representatives’ committee on revision laws, chaired by Rep. Cheryl Deloso-Montalla of Zambales, for approving House Bill (HB) No. 2090.

In filing HB No. 2090, Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu said that the loss and destruction of traffic signs and warning devices have been causing deadly vehicular accidents across the country.

Records show that the measure was originally filed by former Alyansa ng mga Grupong Haligi ng Agham at Teknolohiya (AGHAM) party-list Rep. Angelo Palmones, a broadcast journalist.

Under the proposed legislation, an individual found guilty of stealing or possessing road signs and warning devices faces a fine of up to P150,000 or 12 to 15-year imprisonment, said Abu.

Those found guilty of damaging or vandalizing road signs and warning devices, including manhole covers, will be slapped with a six to 10-year imprisonment or a fine of up to P150,000 or both.

But a harsher penalty awaits an erring government employee, including the forfeiture of his/her retirement benefits.

Other members of Congress must support HB No. 2090 as part of government efforts to bring down the number of road mishaps not only in the metropolis but throughout the Philippines.