Inter-agency traffic operations to expand to nearby provinces

MANILA -- Operations of the Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (I-ACT) will expand to neighboring provinces in a bid to further improve traffic situation in every metropolis, an official of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Wednesday.??

DOTr Undersecretary and concurrent Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Thomas Orbos said provinces covered by I-ACT's operations now include Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan, and Rizal.??

Last year, I-ACT focused on Metro Manila alone. This time, we included the nearby peripheries of the National Capital Region as traffic situation in these areas greatly affects the traffic condition in the metropolis, Orbos told reporters in an interview Wednesday.

??I-ACT was reactivated Wednesday to ensure seamless coordination of transportation agencies, local government units (LGUs) and the private sector in managing the present traffic congestion in the metropolis.

??The MMDA earlier said the population of Metro Manila is at 12 million but its daytime population could reach as high as 15 million because residents of nearby provinces troop to the metropolis for business, study and shopping.??

Furthermore, the vehicular volume along Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA), the main arterial road in the NCR, has exceeded its maximum carrying capacity at 6,000 vehicles per direction per hour.??

Currently, its volume caters to 6,800 vehicles per direction per hour and reaches up to 7,500 during rush hour and especially at weekends, pay days and mall weekend sales.

??Orbos said I-ACT will clear other major thoroughfares in Metro Manila that may serve as alternative routes to EDSA.??

It will be initially deploying its personnel to decongest Commonwealth Avenue because of the ongoing construction of the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7) which will traverse from North Avenue in Quezon City, and C-5 road by September and October.

By yearend, traffic enforcement operations in these areas would be gradually transferred to local government units.??

I-ACT will deploy a total of 6,431 traffic personnel from the MMDA, Land Transportation Office (LTO), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and PNP-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) to Commonwealth, C-5, and the northern, central, western, eastern, and southern sectors of Metro Manila.??

Other roads up for decongestion are Alabang-Zapote Road, Sucat Road, R-10 and Roxas Boulevard.??

An integrated traffic management system for enforcement through utilizing information and communications technology (ICT) will also be established to minimize human intervention and prevent corruption.

??This will be comprised of taxi/UV fleet, traffic sensors, traffic light controls, CCTV surveillance, congestion charge fee, GPS map update, among others.??

Aside from traffic management, it will also conduct intensified operations against illegal parking, colorum and out of line vehicles, illegal terminals along major thoroughfares and also deal with anti-fixer, anti-fake licenses/plates and car rental scams.

???The I-ACT originally consists of DOTr, MMDA, LTO, LTFRB, and the PNP-HPG.??The new I-ACT will have additional member agencies such as the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), local government units through the Metro Manila Council, and the Liga ng mga Barangay ng Pilipinas.

Source: Philippine News Agency