TO FOSTER faster exchange of information with the public, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will formally launch on Monday, August 2, its own Twitter account.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said the MMDA’s Twitter account- will initially entertain traffic inquiries and respond to other matters such as flooding situations as soon as further improvements are made.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

“Twitter is a good medium to directly communicate with the public. We intend to make full use of social networking and microblogging to deliver prompt and up-to-date traffic information to whoever needs it,” he added.

The MMDA’s Twitter services will initially be manned from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Mondays to Fridays, the MMDA chief said.

Tolentino said the use of Twitter is a giant technological leap for the MMDA, whose means of communication with the public relies heavily on Metrobase, its 24-hour traffic and communications center and its own radio and cable TV channel.

Lawyer Yves Gonzalez, spokesperson of the MMDA, said their Twitter account underwent two-day public testing and proved successful in interacting with the public, particularly Twitter users.

He said they have initially trained two three-man teams, which will work in two shifts, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., and 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., to man the MMDA Twitter service round-the-clock.

“So far, the public has responded warmly. Even Undersecretary Manolo Quezon sent tweets promoting our Twitter account,” Gonzalez said, referring to columnist Manuel Quezon III, who is part of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s Communications Group.

Gonzalez said the MMDA Twitter account will send periodic traffic updates concerning road closures, obstructions, traffic re-rerouting, and other important traffic-related developments.

“Through Twitter, we can help motorists and commuters plan their trips early by getting first-hand information on traffic condition in certain areas,” he added.

The MMDA official said the agency will also open its Facebook account soon to improve the agency’s accessibility to the public. (AH/Sunnex)