MARIKINA City Rep. Bayani Fernando yesterday said the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority should do its mandate to address the worsening traffic problem in Metro Manila ahead of the granting of emergency powers to President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte, stressing there is already an existing system that needs to be implemented.
Fernando, a former MMDA chairman, said the MMDA alone has the mandate, by virtue of Republic Act No. 7924 to lead traffic management efforts for the whole Metro Manila as well as to provide Metro-wide services.
“There is a need for Emergency Powers. But in our haste to conceptualize solutions to the traffic crisis, we forget that there are already systems in place and all we have to do is to maximize its potential,” Fernando explained.
“The traffic situation in Metro Manila has reached crisis proportions and has tested both the people and the systems which were put in place to address the problem. The National Government is looking at granting of Emergency Powers to solve this traffic crisis but the current proposal on the table is too broad, too complex and will take too much time to implement considering that the people need a solution now,” Fernando stressed.
“The Emergency Powers bill also proposes an approach that will reorganize the existing government agencies and instrumentalities responsible for traffic management, building from the ground up a cohesive organization which will then tackle the traffic crisis –which again will take time and resources,” he said.
Fernando said the MMDA has about 7,000 personnel tasked to implement its Metro-wide programs, and if the manpower is harnessed properly, it will provide a huge standing army ready to effect policies and regulations that the MMDA may have to address the Metro Manila traffic situation.
The MMDA has what we call an “institutional memory,” the know-how on how to get things done, he said. It has passed on its institutional memory to its personnel who have been honed and trained according to standards and expectations of the citizenry of which they serve.
Since its creation in 1994, Fernando said the MMDA has conceptualized, proposed and implemented all types of metro-wide programs that has made life in this bustling metropolis easier, keeping at bay the chaos that threatens to overwhelm Metro Manila residents – be it traffic congestion, flooding, garbage, pollution, and all other threats to public safety.