“We strongly disagree with the statement in your letter that the traffic situation in the Ayala Alabang Village has “worsened”,” countered De La Salle Santiago Zobel president Bro. Bernie Oca FSC in a letter to the Ayala Alabang Village Association this week in connection with the proposed color coding scheme for non-residents who access their school.
Reacting to a letter addressed to them from AAVA president Epifanio Joaquin wherein they were found as the main reason for the heavy traffic inside the village, Oca denied the allegations and gave several numbers to further belie the accusations hurled at them.
In his letter, Oca said that only 1,233 vehicles bound for the school were recorded contrary to AAVA’s claims of 1,787.
He also added that due to some improvements that they had implemented, there was “a remarkable improvement in the traffic flow around the school perimeter through our efforts this 2014”.
The DLSZ president also said that they have been complying with the request of AAVA to limit their student population to 4,200.
“Presently, there are only 4,188 students enrolled in our school contrary to your claim of 4,300,” mentioned Oca in his letter.
He also enumerated these certain measures that the school has been implementing to control traffic within their vicinity:
– April to June 2014 – Widening of school gates and inner roads to accommodate entry of vehicles and ease the flow of traffic (cost: P4.25M)
– June 2014 to Present – Hiring of additional 1o guards to manage traffic in the morning and in the afternoon (cost: P100,000/month)
– September 2014 – Changing of class schedule for highschool from 7:30am to 8am to lessen the bulk of incoming vehicular traffic in the morning and in the afternoon
– September 2014 – Hiring ofTraffic Management consultants to study the situation and
give professional recommendations to ease the trafflc;
– October 13-23, 2014 – Hiring of additional two tourist buses for the experimental bus ferrying
of high school students from ATC to DLSZ and back to lessen also the bulk of incoming vehicular traffic in the morning and in the afternoon (cost: P194,000)
– December 2014 – Sending out of survey to parents to gather data needed in preparation for the clustering of school bus providers and car poolers
“Thus, there is no basis for your statement that DLSZ “lack[s] the genuine desire to create change that will improve the situation”. In truth, DLSZ has implemented and incurred unbudgeted expenses to better the flow of traffic in the Village. It is also not true that “parents have prioritized their convenience over the welfare of the affected homeowners”. Certainly, it is the safety and security of the children that is of our utmost priority. Moreover, the Village must also consider that DLSZ is, as every homeowner, also a lot owner which pays its association dues every year. For 2014 alone, the school paid a total of Php 943,579.20,” expressed the DLSZ president.
He also noted that the Feb. 3 implementation comes at a time when they are still finalizing their car-poooling and clustering system with their bus providers.
“We hope that you would reconsider your decision on the color-coding scheme and suspend its implementation especially since a haphazard implementation thereof may pose serious risks to the health and safety of our students,” appealed Oca in the letter.
The village association has yet to reply to Bro. Bernie’s letter.