Corruption root of traffic mess — solon

November 23, 2018
Lito Atienza

AN opposition House leader has lamented the failure of the author of the Traffic Crisis Act of 2017 or the proposed emergency powers to address the heart or the real cause of the existing traffic mess, which is corruption.

House senior Deputy Minority Leader and Buhay Hayaang Yumabong (Buhay) party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento, the bill’s sponsor and chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Principal author of House Bill (HB) No. 6425 or the Traffic Crisis Act of 2017 that would grant authorities more powers, should go directly to the problem.

“The solutions being proposed in this piece of legislation are not the answers to our problem.  We do not need more laws and powers. All the laws are already in place, but government is not enforcing the law. What we need is stricter and honest-to-goodness enforcement of existing laws covering traffic management, as well as punishing erring traffic officials especially enforcers on the streets,” said Atienza

“How will giving authorities more powers help solve the traffic mess in Metro Manila, Metro Cebu and Davao, when the root causes of our traffic problem— corruption, mismanagement and incompetence are not being addressed until now? It is like prescribing medicine that would only treat the symptoms, but not the virus that causes the illness,” Atienza added.

Sarmiento cited the success of Singapore in fixing their traffic problem.

But Atienza retorted by saying that Singapore only succeeded after putting corrupt enforcers behind bars and not by coming up with stricter laws.

“Dito sa atin, marami tayong batas trapiko at mga ordinansa, subalit mismong ang mga traffic enforcers na dapat nagpapatupad nito ang siyang nauunang lumabag.  Kagaya sa Buendia kanto ng Taft Avenue at sa maraming lugar sa EDSA kung saan pinapayagan nila ang mga illegal terminals ng mga bus at jeepney. May weekly collection sa mga operators at drivers kaya nandiyan pa rin sila,” said Atienza.

“’Pag binigyan mo ng higit na kapangyarihan ang mga ‘yan, lalaki ang lagay, hindi magbabago ang situasyon.  Sa mga tinaguriang Mabuhay lanes at inner roads ay nagkalat ang mga illegally parked vehicles, mga tambak na construction materials, basketball courts at mga long-delayed government road projects.  Bakit ito pinapayagan? Hindi ba ito nakikita ng Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) at ng mga local government units?” Atienza asked.