With safety ingrained in its culture, the NLEX Corporation has commended the Sangguniang Bayan of Floridablanca in Pampanga for passing an ordinance that would help eliminate stoning incidents in the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX).
Municipal Ordinance No. 120 or the “Floridablanca Anti-Stoning Ordinance” intends to penalize stoning and other prohibited acts in SCTEX. The passage of this law is the local government unit’s response to the increasing incidents of stoning, usually committed by minors, that damaged vehicles and caused accidents within the jurisdiction of Floridablanca.
“Our LGU recognizes the adverse effects and gravity of stoning incidents, and these require a more compelling legislation to avert potential accidents and prevent minors from endangering themselves or others,” said Floridablanca Mayor Darwin Manalansan, adding that “it will also strengthen our communities’ security system and leadership in educating residents, especially minors, on the dangers of stoning and other illegal activities near the expressway.”
The SCTEX and other expressways in the country are limited access facilities under the Republic Act No. 2000 therefore some acts such as throwing of stones at vehicles traversing the road and ingress or egress to, from, or across the expressway except at designated entry/exit points are considered unlawful.
Aside from stoning, other prohibited acts stated in the ordinance are climbing the fence/wall of SCTEX; and wandering, roaming, meandering near the SCTEX fence/overpass without any legitimate purpose and for a long period of time.
Sanctions for violators include three-day community service for the first offense; a penalty of PHP1,500 and/or five-day community service for the second offense; and a penalty of PHP2,500 and/or 10-day community service for the third offense. For minors, the barangay shall require the minor and his/her parents/guardians to undertake community service. These are without prejudice to any claim for damages and to any case that will be filed against the violator/s.
Also under the said law, the barangays within Floridablanca shall strengthen the implementation of their security system to prevent stoning activities, lead in educating communities on the dangers of engaging in unnecessary activities within a certain distance from the expressway, conduct seminars and programs on responsible parenting, and coordinate operations and programs with the Philippine National Police and the SCTEX management.
“We appreciate the move of Floridablanca to approve this ordinance aimed at boosting the safety of our motorists and our host communities. This supports our commitment to strictly implement measures to ensure public safety and smooth traffic flow in our road network,” said NLEX Corporation president and general manager J. Luigi L. Bautista.
Over the years, the NLEX Corporation has established partnerships with host communities as it regularly coordinates operational concerns and other community-related issues. It has been conducting dialogues and road safety education initiatives to encourage communities, particularly minors who have been apprehended for illegal acts, to develop a habit of practicing road safety.
In Floridablanca, the tollway company has since conducted the Kaligtasan sa Daan campaign and NLEX-SCTEX Basketboys basketball clinic in select schools and communities, as well as supported relief operations and community pantries in the area, as part of its community engagement and corporate social responsibility program.
NLEX Corporation is a subsidiary of the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), the toll road arm of the Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC).