DOTr, PNP and MMDA to implement unified traffic-enforcement system

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — As Senate hearings giving emergency powers to President Rodrigo Duterte are ongoing, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade pushed through with implementing a unified traffic-enforcement system.

Read: Senate holds first hearing to discuss emergency powers for Duterte

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced Wednesday that the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) have agreed to work together to find solutions to the worsening traffic along Metro Manila's national roads.

"We are focusing on enforcement now while waiting for Congress to grant us emergency powers," said Transportation Spokesperson Cherie Mercado-Santos. "We have to do what we can do now."

Under the new scheme, a single chain of command will be formed, with Metro Manila divided into 10 sectors, each with a sectoral head and two sub-commanders.

Also, there will be joint training for traffic enforcers from the MMDA, LTO, LTFRB, and PNP-HPG. The agencies are still formulating uniform penalties for traffic violations.

"Kapag watak-watak tayo, mahihirapan ang mga tao on the ground [If we don't work together, the people on the ground will have a hard time]," said HPG Chief Supt. Antonio Gardiola. "But if we will be given authority under one chain of command, we can now easily issue orders."

The scheme will likewise allow the agencies to share manpower and equipment, including a unified monitoring system using the MMDA's computer network.

Finally, all vehicles impounded by the agencies will be sent to the LTO's lot in Tarlac.

Read: LTO to move impounded vehicles to Tarlac starting August 8

The DOTr said the agreement will allow the agencies to quickly make real-time decisions to traffic incidents. And according to its studies, the travel time in EDSA has improved because of the agencies' cooperation.

CNN Philippines' Menchu Macapagal contributed to this report.