THERE will be no rest for Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) men as it deploys enforcers on a round-the-clock basis starting Monday, August 16, to minimize nighttime and pre-dawn traffic and even crime incidents.

MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino said the deployment of nighttime traffic enforcers will also ensure faster response to traffic accidents.

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“Starting August 16, we will have traffic enforcers at night to cover the nighttime and pre-dawn beats,” Tolentino said, adding that this would boost their campaign against "colorum" and out-of-line vehicles.

The MMDA chief noted that several accidents occur at night, many of them due to motorists thinking they can get away with traffic rules because there is no one to enforce them.

At present, MMDA traffic enforcers work in two shifts: From 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and then from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Under the new set-up, another shift would be added this time from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., thereby ensuring that all major thoroughfares in the metropolis would be covered by the traffic enforcers.

There are about 2,000 MMDA traffic enforcers. Local government units also deploy their own traffic units to augment the agency’s personnel.

Under Tolentino’s proposal, the added shift is aimed at ensuring that major streets in Metro Manila would be under the watchful eyes of MMDA traffic enforcers 24 hours a day.

Also to ensure that motorists will not be taken advantage of, night duty traffic enforcers would be in proper uniform with their name plates and identification cards clearly visible.

“Motorists may also reach the MMDA through 136 to verify the identity of the enforcers if they have doubt about his identification,” the MMDA chief said.

He added that the MMDA would be picking qualified traffic enforcers based on their fitness and track record to ensure that they could handle the demands of the duty-shift.

Aside from doing traffic duties, the traffic enforcers can also deter crimes and augment police personnel deployed at checkpoints which are being revived by the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) in the metropolis.

NCRPO Director Leocadio Santiago said they decided to restore the checkpoints as a crime deterrent noting its effectiveness in the decline of violence in the run-up to the May 10 automated elections.

He also cited a favorable opinion of majority of the Filipino who in a survey conducted from May to June this year by the Asia Pacific Center for Research noted that 78.4 percent or eight out of 10 Filipinos want the revival of the checkpoints, especially at nighttime. (AH/Sunnex)