Seeking to address the horrendous traffic situation in Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao, the House Committee on Transportation has approved the Traffic Crisis Act on third and final reading.
Gaining 188 affirmatives, and eight negative votes, the lower chamber approved the House Bill 6425 or the Traffic Crisis Bill into third and final reading. The said bill seeks to provide an “urgent, comprehensive, and integrated land-based traffic management in key cities of Manila, Cebu, and Davao.”
As stated on the bill, the Secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) shall be designated as the de officio Traffic Chief, who will have the power to control and supervise the land transportation agencies such as the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the proposed Metropolitan Cebu Traffic Coordinating Council, and the proposed Davao Administrator.
Apart from supervising the transportation agencies, the Traffic Chief also has the power to enforce all the traffic rules and regulations and harmonize them to have a unified traffic system throughout the metropolitan areas in the country.
He shall also be vested with the power to prioritize all the programs and projects that will have an immediate, significant, and measurable impact on the land-based traffic crisis, and empowered to develop a comprehensive traffic rule handbook and be able to create a traffic impact plan.
The HB 6425 will also mandate the metropolitan areas to draw up a Traffic Management Plan (TMP) that must have concrete and detailed steps on alleviating the traffic crisis in a measurable manner.
The TMP should have 19 minimum traffic-regulating components such as the organizational structure of covered agencies, rerouting plans, promotion of sustainable transport, traffic flow and vehicle reduction schemes, sidewalk clearing operations, building elevated crosswalks, and proper designation of public utility vehicle terminals.