The Department of Transportation (DOTr) will now be working together with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) in managing traffic flow along national roads in Metro Manila.
Upon the marching order of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, the MMDA, HPG, and DOTr-attached agencies such as Land Transportation Office and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board will be strengthening traffic enforcement by adhering to just one chain of command.
Metro Manila will be split into at least 10 traffic sectors, each one having a sectoral head.
While the MMDA and local government units, not DOTr, are supposed to be responsible for traffic management, Tugade earlier said the current transportation problems in Metro Manila have already reached crisis levels that are “not solvable” by just one entity or organization.
“Kapag watak-watak tayo, mahihirapan ang mga tao on the ground (If we’re not unified, it will be hard for the staff on the ground). But if we will be given authority under one chain of command, we can now easily issue orders,” HPG chief superintendent Antonio Gardiola said in a press conference on August 17.
Operating as one agency, HPG and MMDA will be sharing assets such as manpower and motorcyles. The patrol group will also hook up with the MMDA command center for better traffic monitoring.
The agencies are also working on uniform penalties for traffic violations and planning joint trainings for traffic personnel.
The inter-agency initiative is seen as a necessary move to ease road congestion pending legislative approval of the executive branch’s appeal for emergency powers in managing the worsening traffic situation in the metropolis.
“We are focusing on enforcement now while waiting for Congress to grant us emergency powers. We have to do what we can do now,” DOTr spokesperson Cherie Mercado-Santos said in a statement.
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