With EDSA and C-5 becoming the chaotic mess it is now, aggravated further by one rotating scheme after another to ease vehicular traffic, the Duterte administration has finally decided that a singular authority must take over the traffic management duties on the roads of Metro Manila to make uniform and sound decisions for the benefit of motorists and commuters.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has unified various government agencies and formed the Inter-Agency Committee on Traffic (IACT), which includes personnel from the Department of Transportation (DOTr), MMDA, Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG), Land Transportation Office (LTO), and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
Leading the IACT is DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade. HPG Director Chief Superintendent Antonio Gardiola Jr has been tasked as IACT Chief Traffic Officer. Gardiola will now be in charge of managing traffic on all national roads in Metro Manila to solidify traffic enforcement under one chain of command.
In order to tackle the traffic problem more easily, Metro Manila will be split into 10 traffic sectors with each getting a sectoral head.
Part of this unification means the HPG and MMDA will share resources and manpower including motorcycles. With the HPG acting as lead agency, they will have direct access to the MMDA command center to better monitor traffic conditions in Metro Manila.
The MMDA will now be tasked to focus mainly on solid waste management, flood control projects and local government coordination.
“Kapag watak-watak tayo, mahihirapan ang mga tao on the ground. But if we will be given authority under one chain of command, we can now easily issue orders,” said HPG director Chief Supt. Antonio Gardiola.
Motorists will benefit by dealing with uniform rules and regulations including uniform penalties for traffic violations.
“We are focusing on enforcement now while waiting for Congress to grant us emergency powers. We have to do what we can do now,” said Transportation spokesperson Cherie Mercado-Santos.