MANILA Mayor and former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada plans to deploy “secret marshals” or “undercover inspectors” to pin down traffic enforcers of the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB) who are habitual absentees or those that are engaged in illegal activities.
Estrada said he thought of fielding additional field inspectors in the streets as part of the new measures he would be implementing to sack corrupt and lazy MTPB members.
“They would be tasked to go around and check if the traffic enforcers are in their posts or committing unlawful actions. This way we could easily identify, gather evidence, and dismiss them,” the Manila mayor said.
He added he would be implementing a “one-strike” policy against MTPB enforcers who are lax in their job.
Last November 28, Estrada terminated the job contracts of 690 members of the MTPB after being swamped with complaints from motorists concerning their alleged extortion activities.
Pending a reorganization of the city’s traffic bureau, the job temporarily went to the Manila Police District-Traffic Enforcement Unit (MPD-TEU) and other traffic auxiliary units.
To fill up the vacated slots, the MPD under district director, Senior Supt. Joel Coronel, conducted the “retraining” of the first batch of 92 new enforcers whom Estrada said will be more disciplined, competent and incorruptible.
Supt. Lucile Faycho, chief of the MPD-TEU, said the training and refresher course is focused on developing discipline, proper decorum and posture, and physical fitness.
The new recruits were also given lectures about basic road accident investigation, rescue and first aid, and basic self defense techniques.
MTPB chief Dennis Alcoreza said they will be hiring more inspectors to boost the MTPB’s Inspectorate Unit.
“Our inspectors have been roaming around checking on the traffic enforcers. We’ve found out that many traffic enforcers have not been reporting to their posts, only reporting during paydays. We list them as ‘missing in action’,” he pointed out.
Alcoreza said the inspectors would go around the city ‘incognito’ and would sometimes pose as motorists and pedestrians to catch and report unscrupulous traffic enforcers.
“Hindi sila nakikilala ng mga MTPB enforcers, nakasibilyan, nagro-rotation,” he said, adding that through their reports, they were able to assess the performance of the traffic personnel.