Two months since the formation of the Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (i-ACT), the single authority in traffic management in the metropolis, Metro Manila mayors and traffic managers from various Local Government Units (LGUs) have expressed support and optimism in the direction being taken to solve traffic woes.
In a workshop in Camp Crame yesterday, LGU traffic managers joined officials and personnel from the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and PNP-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) in drafting guidelines to ensure smooth implementation of a unified ticketing system. This, after local chief executives agreed to pass uniform ordinances on traffic violation fines and penalties. The move is consistent with the i-ACT’s vision to harmonize traffic laws and ordinances and integrate a single enforcement system under one chain of command.
Apart from strict enforcement along national roads, the i-ACT also intensified its campaign against illegally-parked and colorum vehicles. From July 6 to October 26, 2016, the i-ACT impounded 236 colorum vehicles, towed 5,696 illegally-parked vehicles, and cleared 2,330 sidewalk vendors. The council have also issued 25, 635 traffic violation tickets.
LGUs have also expressed their desire to align their traffic rules with the i-ACT, such as implementing the suspension of window hours in their cities and areas of jurisdiction.
This multi-agency approach is seen as a welcome change in the traditional system that tolerated uncoordinated laws and ordinances by national government agencies and LGUs. Such development required a brand of leadership that is anchored on strong political will, something that agency heads attribute to Transportation Secretary Art Tugade.
“Sec. Tugade's leadership paved the way to utilize a multi-agency approach in solving traffic and transportation issues in Metro Manila. This has never been done before,” said MMDA Chairman Tim Orbos.
PNP-HPG Chief Gen. Antonio Gardiola, the over-all Chief Traffic Enforcer of i-ACT, said he acknowledges the fact that solving traffic is indeed very difficult, but Tugade’s values and strong political have helped them face the odds.
The Highway patrol Group and the entire Philippine National Police supports the integration of all traffic management and enforcement units/offices under a single, unified entity through the i-ACT to harmonize government approaches in alleviating the transport crisis in Metro Manila, and to serve as a template for other cities in the country as envisioned by Sec. Tugade,” he said.
Tugade’s management initiatives to solve traffic and corruption were also hailed.
“Secretary Tugade, with strong management initiatives, has taken the heavy challenge of addressing traffic congestion,” said LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra.
Asec. Ed Galvante of the LTO added: “The LTO is very serious in implementing anti-corruption measures in line with the thrust of Sec. Tugade to eradicate corruption among its ranks and DOTr's attached agencies.”