• No need for traffic czar – Palace

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    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.

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    1. When there are so many cooks, surely, the broth shall be spoiled. What happened is just a big public display of FRANCIS INCOMPETENCE and an admittance of Benigno that they have failed big time. But it is never too late to start and go back to their senses. HPG can only be waiving their hands at those intersections but they should start making those traffic lights work again. If my memory serves me right, the traffic signaling system was acquired from Australia by Mr. Marcos still and its technology was quite advanced already at that time so they might just let it control the traffic flow without human intervention. Second, they can limit the number of private cars by disallowing registration of vehicles whose owners can not show ownership of a parking lot. This can be complemented by a strict adherence to emission standards so that smoke belchers are immediately removed from the streets including dilapidated and colorum buses. Third, planners can start developing a government center where all government offices will be located in an area just like what they did in Putrajaya in Malaysia. This should have been started on Day One of the Benigno Administration altho that will be done if ever I am the President. Fourth, the subway system for the entire Metro Mania area must be started at once and there is no need for a bureaucratic NEDA rigmarole to study whether that is viable or not. Funding for the subway is never a problem – the political will is.