The way to enforce traffic-A A +A
By Max Sangil
Saturday, September 1, 2012
IT IS the curse of modern day living. Traffic! Every urban center of countries suffers from it. I experienced getting caught in traffic in London, Los Angeles, New York, Bangkok, Seoul, Frankfurt, Madrid, Amsterdam, Tokyo, and of course twice weekly, the jams in Metro Manila, particularly the bumper to bumper situation in EDSA.
Here in our province, especially in Angeles City, it seems that the present city administration is treating with a cavalier stance the traffic problem. I pity my friend, Mario Maniti, the traffic czar for he is not getting the support he must get. He looks so helpless and pitiful when he was the guest the other week at the regular Thursday meeting of the Rotary Club of Angeles. Never in the history of the club had that questions come in great numbers from members. Statesmen of the club like Dante Timbol and Fil Del Rosario expressed exasperation. Varied suggestions came from retired police general Orly Macaspac, Mars Deang, Dading Angeles,Rey Dizon, Marco Hizon, Gus Augustin, Dan Dizon and myself. Methinks they will remain in the box.
The three kilometer stretch Magalang road from MacArthur highway to Marquee Mall is a problem area. Traffic there is really heavy almost any time of the day, particularly during the rush hours of the morning and early evening. In the Balibago area of the city, the traffic enforcers seem helpless. The volume of vehicles is too much for the road, coupled by the fact that most passenger vehicles seem unafraid to violate traffic regulations.
To me, a strong disposition or the much used phrase “strong political will” can solve the problem, not only in Angeles City, San Fernando and Mabalacat City, but in Metro Manila and elsewhere.
As a former director of Clark Development Corporation and presently a member of the board of directors of the Bases Conversion Development Corporation, I, in more ways than one, helped formulate traffic management in the two areas, Clark and Global City in Fort Bonifacio.
The real solution is traffic management and enforcement. The Global City in Fort Boni is a little more than 300 hectares only -- and hundreds of tall buildings and almost the same number of business establishments is located there. Its daytime population is a bit larger than Angeles City, and all its intersectional and main roads are no more than two lanes on both. Go there and see for yourself. There are no traffic jams, even during rush hours. Why? I’ll tell you why.
Just like in Clark, any traffic violator will be dealt with. A traffic ticket will be issued even if you are Tong Payumo, Arnel Casanova, Fernando Zobel and Max Sangil. I dare any mayor in Pampanga in trying to violate traffic rules at the global, so you would know what I mean.
I was oversight director for peace and order committee of CDC for several years. We instituted efficient traffic management with the help of Police Colonel Nic Targa. My instruction was to apprehend any violator, and warned our enforcers that they will get their walking papers once it was proven they accepted grease money from violating drivers. And this is also being done at Subic Freeport.
May I suggest to local officials to seek from their councils to draft an ordinance that will award commissions to traffic enforcers of the fines they collect from violators, and smash collusion between some enforcers and driver organizations. It is an open secret that these driver organizations get collections from driver-members for pay off to some police and traffic officials.
Enforcement, enforcement, enforcement. It is the only way to solve traffic problems in the urban areas. Please do not insist about education of drivers and road engineering. In the first place, a regular Pinoy is a defiant one. Put a sign, don't throw garbage here, he will dump his trash there. Put a sign, “bawal umihi dito” in a wall, and the guy will urinate on the sign itself.
Look at the state of our roads. I can't understand why simple road construction cannot be perfected in this country. And we boast of good civil engineers? The Ifugaos were better engineers and built the rice terraces. Engineers from government? Sabi ni Aling Kikay: EXCUSE ME!
While we are on roads, will the Angeles City government do something about the sorry state of Sto Rosario Street, and the Magalang Road up to its boundary in Sapang Maisac, Mexico. Please don't give us the excuse that these roads are either national or provincial roads. They are within the jurisdiction of Angeles City. Do something please. Either you do them on your own resources or make representations. You can't just remain akimbo and shrug your shoulders.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on September 01, 2012.