Don't be surprised when you encounter traffic enforcers from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) or other related national government agency in your town or city outside of Metro Manila with the expanded coverage of the Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (I-ACT).
In an announcement made by DOTr Undersecretary and concurrent Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Thomas Orbos, the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan and Rizal will now be put under the authority of member agencies of I-ACT, which now include the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), local government units through the Metro Manila Council, and the Liga ng mga Barangay ng Pilipinas
“Last year, I-ACT focused on Metro Manila alone. This time, we included the nearby peripheries of the National Capital Region as traffic situation in these areas greatly affects the traffic condition in the metropolis,” Orbos told reporters in an interview Wednesday.
As traffic congestion begins to stretch outside the metropolis, a more coordinated effort is needed between transportation agencies, local government units (LGUs) and the private sector, which is where I-ACT comes in.
According to the MMDA, Metro Manila population of 12 million swells to 15 million as people from adjacent provinces and outlying areas make their way to the metropolis.
That extra three million is reflected by traffic congestion on EDSA as it takes on 1,500 more vehicles an hour over its 6,000-vehicles-per-direction capacity during rush hour and even on weekends.
Part of I-ACT's duties will be to continue clearing major thoroughfares that can serve as alternate route for motorists. This includes Alabang-Zapote Road, Sucat Road, R-10 and Roxas Boulevard. Operations versus illegal parking, colorum and out of line vehicles, illegal terminals will also be intensified.
In line with the MMDA's 'no contact apprehension' policy, an integrated traffic management system will be setup using information and communications technology (ICT) in order to manage 'taxi/UV fleet, traffic sensors, traffic light controls, CCTV surveillance, congestion charge fee, GPS map update, among others.'
A total of 6,431 traffic personnel will be deployed by the MMDA, Land Transportation Office (LTO), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and PNP-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) to Commonwealth, C-5, and the northern, central, western, eastern, and southern sectors of Metro Manila.
I-ACT aims to return traffic management duties to respective local governments by the end of the year.