The Automobile Association Philippines (AAP) conducted a two-day workshop, “Driving, Traffic Rules and Vehicle Maintenance Training,” on June 28 and 29, 2016 for 30 drivers and mechanics of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) at the MMDA office on EDSA, Guadalupe, Makati City.
The participants were from the various MMDA divisions in the said agency, including those from the mobile patrol unit, traffic enforcement unit, and towing and impounding groups.
MMDA Staff Development Division Manager Ruby Baltazar said, “This is one of the workshops that our general manager [Cora Jimenez] would want you to have.”
“Although all of us here already know how to drive and maintain our vehicles as part of our jobs, we want to improve on what we already know and correct any wrong notions or bad habits that we may have acquired,” Baltazar added.
Vip Isada–a 10-time national rally champion and currently the lead instructor in AAP’s Motor Sport Development Program (MSDP) –took over the first part of the workshop that focused on driving and traffic rules.
Isada opened his lecture by identifying the traits of a Filipino. “Our character and values are important to what we do. It contributes to the way we think, we act, and how we do our job,” said Isada.
Family-oriented, gratitude, and adaptability were among the various Filipino attributes enumerated that, the group discussed, can become a benefit or a detriment to the way they perform their jobs.
Isada also talked about driving, road signs and several traffic rules as found in the copies of the Republic Act 4136 (Land Transportation Code) that AAP distributed to the group.
To properly enforce the law, Isada said, officers must know what is going on with a driver when he or she commits a traffic violation. The officer must be aware of the proper way of driving to understand the driver, the vehicle and the circumstances that led to the infraction.
On the second day of the workshop, Philippine Global Road Safety Partnership (PGRSP) Secretary-General Alberto Suansing gave the group a brief introduction to a car’s engine.
“It is important that you yourselves know what these parts are and how each contributes to the running of a vehicle. When you understand the engine, you’ll be able to troubleshoot efficiently,” said Suansing, who previously served as chief of the Land Transportation Office and then the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.
He reminded the participants to always check the condition of the vehicle by keeping in mind the initials, BLOWBAG. (Brakes, Lights, Oil, Water, Battery, Air, Gasoline).
Afterwards, the group went to the MMDA’s parking lot where they examined a motor vehicle’s engine. The participants asked Suansing about various engine problem scenarios, and he explained and demonstrated the proper way of troubleshooting each problem.
The workshop ended with the participants pledging to support the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, a primary advocacy of AAP.
AAP Advocacies Executive Assistant Cynthia Reyes said they regularly receive requests from various government agencies as well as the private sector for AAP to provide workshops and seminars.
The AAP has been facilitating seminars to encourage safe, responsible driving, enhance public knowledge of traffic rules and promote road safety.
Reyes added that the recent training workshop was held so MMDA constables and other officials would know how traffic regulations should be fully and efficiently enforced.