Malacañang shot down proposals to appoint a traffic czar who will oversee efforts to unclog streets in Metro Manila, saying that inter-agency efforts are enough to ease road congestion.
According to Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras is already coordinating government efforts to decongest traffic in the metropolis even without being appointed as traffic czar.
“Mainam siguro tingnan natin ang sitwasyon at unawain natin na sa mga malalaking problema katulad nito, ang mahalaga ay ang unified action and integrated planning, at effective implementation ng mga action plans… Hindi mahalaga kung sino ang boss dahil ang boss naman talaga rito ay ang mamamayang Pilipino na pinaglilingkuran ng pamahalaan (We should look at the situation and realize that in major problems such as these, what is important is unified action and integrated planning. It is not important who is appointed boss because in this case the boss is the people),” Coloma said in an interview aired over dzRB radio.
“What is important is how the government coordinates its efforts with the other stakeholders like civil society, the business community, port users, road users, and the general public,” he added.
“We are all affected and we should be involved in the resolution of this problem,” Coloma stressed.
Some business groups have urged President Benigno Aquino 3rs to appoint Almendras as traffic czar.
Aquino has directed Almendras to consult with various stakeh¬olders on the government’s traffic management proposals.
Earlier this year, Almendras led government efforts to decongest Manila ports.
Starting on Monday, the Philippine National Police’s Highway Patrol Group (HPG) will be the lead enforcer of traffic rules in chokepoints along EDSA — Balintawak, Cubao, Ortigas, Shaw Boulevard, Guadalupe, and Taft Avenue going to Roxas Boulevard in Pasay.
Traffic enforcers of the Metro Manila Development Authority who previously manned EDSA will be transferred to Roxas Boulevard, C-5 and other major thoroughfares, Coloma said.
Some MMDA personnel will be retained in EDSA to help the HPG in decongesting the identified major chokepoints. Also, traffic enforcers from the Land Transportation Office and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board will help manage EDSA traffic.