Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: Brent Co | posted September 02, 2015 15:45
President Aquino orders PNP-HPG to lead traffic clearing at EDSA choke points
As the average speed on EDSA deteriorates exponentially due to massive daily traffic jams, President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday called for a meeting that included members of the cabinet and MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino in order to take ‘priority action’ and identify ‘choke points’ that need to be addressed.
"After a meeting presided over by the President, it was agreed that priority action will be taken to clear major intersections that are traffic congestion 'choke points' along EDSA," said Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.
These choke points along EDSA are the following:
- Taft Avenue
- Shaw Boulevard
Having recognized the problem areas, the President himself ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) Highway Patrol Group (HPG) to take charge in fully and strictly implementing traffic rules and regulations along EDSA, which includes the stricter enforcement of bus lanes along EDSA.
The MMDA will continue traffic enforcement along EDSA as well, but it will now take its lead from the PNP-HPG because the government thinks that more motorists will follow traffic rules if the latter is in charge.
On the other hand, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) also lend their full support to the program.
Included in the immediate action steps detailed after the meeting were ‘clearing of obstructions on EDSA and alternate routes and consultations with bus and public utility operators, truckers and port users and other stakeholders.’
The PNP-HPG will initially be deploying 80 men per shift (5 a.m. to 2 p.m. / 2 p.m. to 11 p.m.) starting Monday next week, September 7, 2015.
This only serves as the preliminary phase in solving the traffic mess along EDSA. The President has indicated that plenty of fine-tuning needs to be done and solving this problem will take "holistic solutions, unified action among concerned government agencies and heightened awareness to ensure citizen cooperation."