by Charissa Luci Atienza
The House of Representatives may likely pass the proposed Traffic Crisis Act before Congress goes on sine die adjournment on June 2, according to Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
“Hopefully, we can pass it before our recess this June,” he told the reporters after Congress failed to include the bill in its legislative priority list.
He said the House is bent to name the Department of Transportation (DOTr) secretary as de officio traffic chief to ensure the implementation of the proposed Act.
“Of course, the DOTr is basically the lead agency. But it is up to the Executive branch to identify the lead implementor of the proposed law,” Alvarez said.
In January, the House Committee on Transportation, chaired by Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento, approved House Bill 4334 or the proposed “Traffic Crisis Act of 2016 Maki-isa, Makisama, Magka-isa” aimed at addressing the traffic congestion hounding Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Davao City.
Authored by Alvarez, Sarmiento, and Majority Leader Rodolfo C. Fariñas, the bill names the DOTr secretary as de officio traffic chief who is empowered to streamline the management of traffic and transportation and control road use in the identified metropolitan Areas.
The traffic chief shall have the power of supervision and control over the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority; Cebu Coordinating Council, as created under Section 9 of the Act; Philippine National Police-Traffic Management Group; Land Transportation Office; Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board; Road Board; all other executive agencies, bureaus and offices with roles pertaining to land transportation regulation; and Davao Traffic Administrator. The Traffic Chief, as alter ego of the President, shall have power of supervision over all local government units (LGUs) within the metropolitan areas.
The traffic chief shall formulate, coordinate, and monitor policies, standards, programs and projects to rationalize existing public transport operations, infrastructure requirements, the use of thoroughfares, safe movement of persons and goods, the administration and implementation of all traffic enforcement operations, traffic engineering services, and traffic education programs.