WHILE Manila Mayor Isko Moreno is generous in heaping praises and rewards to city employees who show utmost dedication and honesty when fulfilling their duties, he is also tough on those who use the position given to them to enrich themselves. Recently, the good mayor thanked and commended Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB) Director Dennis Viaje for swiftly acting on a complaint against a traffic enforcer who was found to have abandoned his post and then mulcted a motorist along V. Mapa Street in Sta. Mesa.
After verification and finding the accusation true, Viaje wasted no time and sacked the traffic enforcer concerned. In doing so, Viaje reiterated before his traffic enforcers numbering to about 800, that Mayor Kois had made it clear the city government of Manila does not have room for ‘tolongges’ people or those who dupe others, particularly the hapless citizens, motorists included.
Just as he supported the move of Viaje, Mayor Kois also led in commending traffic enforcers Abel Abesamis and Edmundo Gatbunton, Jr. who recently showed how to be worthy of emulation by other public servants by promoting the very principles being espoused by the mayor himself.
The display of good behavior at work shown by the two MTPB enforcers brought joy and pride not only to the mayor, their chief Dennis Viaje and the entire Manila City Hall where they belong but also to Manilans.
A motorist, identified as Wayva Ann Moya-Allanigue, had posted on her Facebook account her rare experience, admitting that she, just like most of us in this country, had been accustomed to the ‘kotong’ ways of traffic enforcers.
Last August 21, 2020, she was counterflowing on a one-way street while on her way to Recto when she got flagged down by MTPB enforcer Abesamis.
What immediately entered her mind was the advice of many that if ever she is accosted for a traffic violation, that she should just bribe her way out. So she took out her wallet, hurriedly got a P500 bill and then folded the money in the smallest way possible.
She had been driving for four years and it was her first attempt to bribe a traffic enforcer. As Abesamis came, she tried to hand the money to him very discreetly.
To her surprise, she was rejected outright, although there were no prying eyes around as it was raining. Several more attempts were met with the same resistance from the two MTPB officers.
Instead, Abesamis decided to let her violation slide and still with utmost courtesy, sort of admonished her about giving them money and told her thus: “’Ma’am hindi po, bawal po. Sabi po ni Mayor, huwag po dudungisan ang dignidad para sa kaunting pera.’ Abesamis also assisted her in finding a parking area and together, they had coffee until the rain stopped. “And then it hit me, I was trying to bribe an honest man,” the motorist said on her post.
Another surprise came when Gatbunton lent her an umbrella so she can do her marketing amid the rains.
To her surprise, Gatbunton told her to just return the umbrella if she still finds him there and if not, she can just take it home. A certain Sheika Saavedra also lauded an MTPB traffic enforcer whom she did not name and whom she praised also on Facebook for assisting her so that she won’t be accosted for having an uncovered topload.
She said that she repeatedly tried to give the enforcer money as a way of showing gratitude for the assistance but was rejected each time.
On her post, she thanked Mayor Kois for his choice of personnel to compose the current MTPB. Mayor Kois lauded all of the said MTPB personnel for doing the right thing even when no one is looking and also, not because they expect to be rewarded.
Given its notoriety in the past, the current crop of MTPB really brings pride and joy not only to Mayor Kois, their chief Viaje but moreso, to Manilans and their entire City Hall family. May their likes serve as an inspiration for other government employees and enforcers to emulate.
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