January 26, 2017
Pimentel: Tap barangay officials for traffic duties in urban centers
Saying it is high time local government units (LGUs) step in to help in easing the traffic problem in the metropolis, Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III today said barangay officials should be tapped to man critical local intersections and thoroughfares.
Pimentel said barangay officials in Metro Manila and in urban centers like Cebu, Davao and Cagayan de Oro have the "experience and familiarity of their respective areas" to become effective traffic enforcers.
He proposed that the MMDA (Metro Manila Development Authority) and traffic authorities try out barangay officials in carefully picked pilot areas.
"In our continuing search for solutions to the traffic gridlocks, we have to engage our barangay chiefs who have intimate knowledge of their locality," Pimentel said.
"They are in the best position to help direct traffic in streets of their respective areas," he said.
Pimentel said further that deputizing them in critical intersections especially during rush hours is an idea that the MMDA and metro mayors or their representatives could discuss and refine further during consultative meetings.
"Many solutions have been tried before. This one could very well help in promoting solutions," he said.
Pimentel also urged barangay officials not to convert their streets into basketball courts, parking lots or venues for social parties to ensure that traffic flow is unimpeded.
He said some major streets have been closed to traffic for a long time because of permanent structures like basketball courts and de facto closed due to parked vehicles.
Traffic congestion in Metro Manila has cost the economy between P2.5 billion and P3 billion in daily losses, according to a study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
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