FUMING mad over repeated complaints of extortion and inefficiency in the management of vehicular traffic in Manila, Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada yesterday ordered the dismissal of the entire 690 workforce of the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB).
Sources from Manila’s public information office said the decision to “dissolve” the entire MTPB was arrived at after “consultation” with various stakeholders to include barangay officials, the Manila Police District under Senior Supt. Joel Coronel, transport groups plying the city and, MTPB head, former Councilor Dennis Alcoreza.
Alcoreza, Manila’s “traffic czar” for less than three months now, was among those who allegedly recommended to Estrada for the abolition of his own bureau.
“Siya na (Alcoreza) ang nag-rekomenda na ‘i-abolish’ na ang MTPB,” said the sources.
Until a “re-engineered” MTPB is constituted, traffic management in the city would be handled by the MPD’s Traffic Management Enforcement Unit under Supt. Lucile Faycho, with the assistance of barangay officials and transport groups.
A “super body” to deal with Manila’s traffic problems is also to be constituted under the office of Estrada.
Better pay, training for new enforcers
On the other hand, recruitment is now ongoing for “new” members to compose the MTPB with the first batch, consisting of 100 persons, now undergoing training on basic traffic enforcement and management with the MPD.
However, the number of enforcers would be trimmed down to 300 from the previous 600 to enable the city to increase their salaries from P6,000 to P10,000 per month.
“Only former enforcers with no derogatory record would be allowed to get back into the service,” the sources explained.
Included in the list with ‘derogatory information’ are enforcers “endorsed” by local politicians.
“Aalisin na ’yung ‘bata-bata’ system; nalaman namin ’yung iba hindi naman nagtatrabaho (ghost employees) at ’yung iba, hindi mautusan dahil sinasabi ‘bata’ ni ganito o ganoong pulitiko,” said one of the sources.
While expected to reassume his former job as traffic czar, the sources said Alcoreza’s tenure may not last if he again failed to perform in the next three months.
“Kung pagkaraan ng susunod na tatlong buwan, wala pa ring maipakita si Alcoreza, malamang sibakin na rin siya ni mayor,” the sources warned.