Tugade names HPG chief Metro Manila traffic czar

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TRANSPORTATION Secretary Arthur Tugade has designated Highway Patrol Group Acting Director Sr. Supt. Antonio Gardiola as Metro Manila’s new traffic czar.

The inter-agency council on traffic composed of the PNP Highway Patrol Group, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Land Transportation Office, and Land Transport Franchising and Regulatory Board, agreed to have Gardiola as the new traffic czar.

The council had a presentation of assets in Camp Crame on Friday morning on how to address the worsening traffic condition in Metro Manila.

Asked by the media about his plans to address traffic problem in the metropolis, Gardiola said he wanted to implement measures to ease people’s suffering caused by heavy traffic congestion.

Travel time

“Una po pagalawin, mabawasan yung hirap ng publiko, yung travel time nila,” he said in a media interview.

“Siguro obserbahan na lang ng mga motorists natin kung ano ang kaibahan na kanilang mararamdaman sa pag implement nitong interagency traffic management. So ‘yan po ang unang obheto natin para maramdaman ang kaibahan sa oras ng kanilang pag-travel sa isang area,” he added.

Other plans include training of traffic enforcers and teaching them to have more patience while doing their jobs, he said. These trainings, done in batches, are currently ongoing for the traffic enforcers.

The council also asked the assistance of the UP National Center for Transportation Studies to assess what reforms are needed in the country’s traffic laws and infrastructure as more and more vehicles hit the road each year.

LGUs

According to Gardiola, they will also talk to metro LGUs to resolve the conflicting implementation of local and national laws that hamper effective implementation of traffic regulations.

“Basta nandyan and kooperasayon ng bawat ahensya, mapapadali ang bawat gagawin,” he said.

On the part of the MMDA, Geoffrey Agulan of the MMDA’s Traffic Discipline Office said they welcome the designation of Gardiola as the new traffic czar because it will unify the efforts of different agencies working to address the traffic concerns in the Metro Manila.

Although Gardiola did not give a time frame when they could solve traffic congestion in the metro, he promised to ease the flow of traffic in the metropolis in the coming months.

But as regards the overall solution, Gardiola said it will involve “the highest level of response from the government.”

He said new laws must be crafted and new infrastructure must be built to address it. –Philippines News Agency

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