The Department of Transportation (DOTr) will now be in charge of traffic management in Metro Manila and has formed an interagency committee that will address the traffic situation in all national roads in the metropolis.
Cherie Mercado-Santos , spokesperson of the Department of transportation, said the initiative is necessary to ease traffic congestion.
“We are focusing on enforcement now while waiting for Congress to grant us emergency powers. We have to do what we can do now,” Santos said.
She said the DOTr will be working with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) in managing traffic along national roads in Metro Manila.
“Upon the marching order of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, the MMDA, HPG, and DOTr attached agencies such as the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will be solidifying traffic enforcement by coming up with just one chain of command,” she added.
Metro Manila will be split into 10 traffic sectors and each sector will have a leader, she said.
“There are changes in Edsa that might not be felt by everyone but these are already being done all the efforts,” Mercado said.
“If ever the emergency powers will not be granted, at least we have done something. If granted, then we can further improve (the system),” she said, adding that they expect Congress to decide on whether to grant President Rodrigo Duterte emergency powers to address the traffic problem by December.
HPG Chief Supt. Antonio Gardiola said that putting the agencies under one chain of command will help facilitate orders and sharing of assets such as manpower and motorcyles.
Gardiola said the HPG will also hook up with the MMDA command center for better traffic monitoring.
The agencies are also working on coming up with uniform penalties for traffic violations. Traffic personnel will also undergo joint training.
Mercado said they hope to include the local government units in the National Capital Region in the interagency committee.