Palace: No need for traffic czar
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Saturday, September 5, thumbed down proposals to appoint a Metro Manila "traffic czar" to ease road congestion in the metropolis.
When asked, Palace Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said in an interview on state-run Radyo ng Bayan that Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras is already coordinating the action of concerned government agencies on the Metro Manila traffic problem.
As Cabinet Secretary, Almendras is tasked with coordinating inter-agency matters, such as the Manila port congestion, Coloma said.
"Wala tayong focus doon sa pagbibigay lamang ng titulo. Ang pinaka-importante rito, ano ba ang kongkretong aksyon o paano ba iniuugnay ‘yung lahat ng kilos, at ito naman ay well-coordinated sa Cabinet level at si Secretary Almendras nga, bilang Cabinet Secretary, ang nagsasagawa nito," he said.
(We're not focused on just giving a title. What is important here is the concrete action, and how to coordinate the action. This is being well-coordinated at the Cabinet level, and Secretary Almendras, as the Cabinet Secretary, is doing this.)
Coloma said is what is important is a unified action plan and its effective implementation, which is being finalized by the government.
The Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) had earlier urged President Benigno Aquino III to appoint Almendras as "traffic czar." (READ: We need to 'idiot proof' our roads – business group)
While awaiting the implementation of a comprehensive traffic plan in the capital region, authorities involved in Metro Manila traffic management agreed to prioritize easing traffic in 6 major "choke points" along major thoroughfare EDSA.
In a Palace meeting on Metro Manila traffic last week, the President also approved the deployment of the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (HPG) "to serve as the lead traffic law enforcement agency on EDSA."
The HPG will begin its new task on Monday, September 7, concentrating on the 6 major EDSA choke points – Balintawak, Cubao, Ortigas, Shaw Boulevard, Guadalupe, and Taft Avenue going to Roxas Boulevard in Pasay.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) traffic enforcers will be transferred to Roxas Boulevard, C-5 and other major thoroughfares, Coloma said.
He said the Department of Public Works and Highways has set up markers and concrete dividers, for dedicated bus lanes, while the MMDA and the DPWH are clearing sidewalks to remove obstructions and barriers. – Rappler.com