Erap taps universities, students in tackling Manila’s traffic woes

The Daily Tribune| Written by: Tribune Wires| September 27, 2016


Saying that the perennial traffic problem in urban metropolis is “more than just a state of mind,”

Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada is tapping the full cooperation of school officials and students in addressing traffic congestion in the capital city, especially at the University Belt area.

Estrada is launching his “Pook Kaayusan Adopt-a-Traffic Enforcer” program wherein school administration officials are encouraged to take an active role in traffic management, including employing their own students as apprentice traffic enforcers.

“We all know that areas near and around the universities are high volume traffic so we’ve thought of seeking the help of the school officials and even the students since they are the ones who are directly affected by these time-wasting traffic jams,” the Manila mayor said.

“Traffic is a serious concern that everybody should be involved with. It is a reality, more than just a state of mind,” Estrada pointed out.

Estrada has directed Dennis Alcoreza, chief of the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB), to discuss the program with the major universities and colleges in the city, particularly at the University Belt area, and seek their commitment.

Among those that have positively responded to the program are UP Manila and the so-called “Mendiola Consortium”: Centro Escolar University (CEU), College of the Holy Spirit, La Consolacion College Manila, San Beda College and Saint Jude Catholic School, according to Alcoreza.

There are 27 public and private colleges and universities at the University Belt area alone, 13 along Taft Avenue, and four located within the walls of Intramuros.

“They will own the problem dahil sila naman ang naaapektuhan ng trapik,” Alcoreza said. “And since they know the community better than us, we will engage them in solving traffic.”

Under the program, universities and colleges are encouraged to “adopt” a team of MTPB traffic enforcers whom they will supervise and assign in their respective school jurisdictions to manage vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

In return, the school administrations are urged to give incentives to the traffic enforcers such as free meals, allowances or to a certain extent, discounted tuition fees or scholarship grants for their children.

“Traffic enforcers, as we all know, receive meager salaries, the reason why most of them resort to extortion. So I asked the universities kung pwede sila mag-adopt ng traffic enforcers,” Alcoreza said.

School officials will also be given authority, in close coordination with MTPB, to deputize their own personnel or students in managing traffic in their respective jurisdictions.

“We should be all in this together. The more help we can get, the more it will be easier for us to address our problems in traffic,” Alcoreza said.