November 26, 2016
As part of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) consultative planning to come upwith stakeholder-specific solutions to traffic, MMDA General Manager Tim Orbos yesterday met with transport leaders to address the concerns of the public transport sector regarding their operations and discuss the groups’ proposals to improve the traffic condition in the metropolis.
The MMDA official sat down with Obet Martin of Pasang Masda, Zeny Maranan of Fejodap, Efren de Luna and Orlando Marquez of PCDO-ACTO, and Boy Vargas of Altodap.
During the meeting, transport leaders expressed support to the agency’s number coding scheme, noting that it has improved travel time which in turn benefitted the public transport sector as it enabled public utility jeepney drivers to make more trips.
They also suggested that emergency power to be given to President Duterte should include the supervisory authority of the MMDA over traffic enforcers of the 17 local government units in Metro Manila.
The power to suspend driver’s license of repetitive reckless violations should also be given to the agency, the transport leaders added.
The public transport leaders also appealed to both private and public drivers to have self discipline and follow traffic rules and regulations even without the presence of enforcers. In calling for support to President Duterte, the transport groups vowed to police their ranks and imbibe in their members the principle of self-discipline.
“Kami na ang mangunguna at kami mismo ang pupunta sa kalye, hihikayatin naming ang aming mga miyembro at sususpendehin namin sila sa membership namin kung sila ay may record ng ilang ulit na huli,” they said.
They added that the officials of each transport group will serve as enforcers to keep their member-drivers in tow. “Napapansin din namin na may mga patay na oras ng biyahe kaya kami ay pabor na ipatupad ng MMDA na magkaroon ng panukala na ihiwalay ang oras ng pasok ng government employees at private sector,” the transport leaders said.
They also reiterated their call on the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and Land Transportation Office to intensify its drive against colorum and out-of-line operations.
For his part, Orbos assured the transport leaders that the agency will bring their concerns and grievances to Transportation Secretary Art Tugade. “I will be your conduit to Secretary Tugade,” Orbos said, adding that he will set up a meeting to be a venue of the dialogue between the parties.
Further, the transport leaders vowed to encourage their members to be pro-active in helping solve the traffic problem. “We will ask them to communicate with MMDA through its hotline or social media accounts and report problems they see on the roads like traffic, road obstructions, etc, so the agency can address and act on it immediately.”