The House of Representatives, after three readings, has passed House Bill 6425 titled An Act Prescribing an Urgent, Comprehensive and Integrated Land-Based Traffic Management to Effectively Address the Traffic Congestion Crisis in Metro Manila, Metropolitan Cebu and Metropolitan Davao and Appropriating Funds Therefor.
While that name is definitely a mouthful, the congressmen have given it the short title as the Traffic Crisis Act of 2018. Makiisa. Makisama. Magkaisa.
Some of the key stipulations of the bill -which is now with the Senate- is that it mandates the government to “adopt responsive, effective, and comprehensive measures” that can sort out the traffic crisis not just in the National Capital Region, but in Cebu and Davao as well. It also seeks to improve the management and expansion of public transportation in these areas.
They aim to do this by via establishing an authority that will spearhead policy, planning, coordination, implementation, and enforcement (among others), effectively bringing the relevant government agencies in charge of traffic in these areas (i.e. MMDA for Metro Manila) under the auspices of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
The authority will be headed up by a Traffic Chief which will be the Secretary of Transportation; currently, that is Sec. Arthur Tugade.
The proposed Traffic Crisis Act will give the agency expanded powers such as apprehension of traffic violators, clearing sidewalks and roads, licensing and testing, and many others.
Some of the proposals under the bill include expanding powers for the opening of private roads within subdivisions and villages as deemed necessary by the Traffic Chief. Moreover, the bill proposes that business can be fined or even closed for having inadequate setbacks or parking spaces for their customers.
If passed into law, will this actually help with traffic or will it be another bureaucracy with rules to be implemented based on convenience?