There is no need for a traffic czar, a Malacanang official reiterated on Saturday, saying that inter-agency efforts are enough to ease road congestion in Metro Manila.
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras is already coordinating government efforts to decongest traffic in 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,[It’s advisable that we look into the situation and understand bigger problems such as this. The important factors are unified action and integrated planning and effective implementation of the action plans. It doesn’t matter who the boss is because the real bosses here are the Filipino people, which the administration serves]” Coloma told the government-run dzRB radio.
What’s 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.
“Lahat po tayo ay sangkot at may lahok po tayo diyan sa pagresolba ng problema [All of us are involved in the problem,]” Coloma said.
Coloma issued the statement in response to the call of some business groups for President Benigno Aquino 3rs to appoint Almendras as traffic czar.
Earlier this year, Almendras also led government efforts to decongest Manila ports.
Aquino earlier directed Almendras to conduct consultations with various stakeholders on the government’s traffic management proposals.
On Monday, the Philippine National Police’s Highway Patrol Group (HPG) will be the lead enforcer of traffic rules to remove chokepoints along EDSA.
The PNP will concentrate on easing six chokepoints in EDSA such as Balintawak, Cubao, Ortigas, Shaw Boulevard, Guadalupe, and Taft Avenue going to Roxas Boulevard in Pasay.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has started its work, Coloma said, putting up markers and concrete dividers, for dedicated bus lanes.
Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the DPWH are already clearing sidewalks to remove obstructions and barriers.
MMDA traffic enforcers, who previously manned EDSA, will be transferred to Roxas Boulevard, C-5 and other major thoroughfares, Coloma said.
Some MMDA traffic enforcers will be retained in EDSA to help the Highway Patrol Group in decongesting the identified major chokepoints along the major thoroughfare.
Traffic enforcers from the Land Transportation Office as well as from Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board will also provide assistance in managing EDSA.