THE Mayor of Manila has taken decisive action against the city’s corrupt traffic enforcers — by firing the entire department.
At a press conference today (Monday, November 28) Joseph “Erap” Estrada announced that 600 frontline officers and 90 support staff at the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB) were now out of a job.
“I want them all out, no exception,” he said, according to a report by Rappler.com.
The workers, who are compelled to hand in their own resignations, have been told that they can reapply for their jobs, but only 300 will be employed under a stringent new set of standards. Although this would in theory halve the workforce, MTPB chief Dennis Alcoreza said that some of the fired 600 never turned up for work anyway.
Mr Alcoreza pledged speedy action to introduce the new team, with training to begin by Friday of this week. It has also been emphasised that the new roles are open to female applicants.
The new, and returning, recruits will put through their paces in batches of 100 at the Manila Police District-Traffic Enforcement Unit (MPD-TEU). The process is expected to take at least one month for each batch.
More cheerfully for the traffic enforcing community, their salaries are set to rise from 6,000-10,000 pesos per month. It is hoped this increase will lessen the temptation to commit extortion and other criminal acts.
While the MTPB team is in the process of being reconfigured, 244 police officers will handle the city’s traffic management, with support from barangay volunteers and other auxiliary units. It is expected that they will receive extra training on traffic rules and regulations.
Traffic super body
Mr Estrada also announced the creation of a “traffic super body” at Monday’s press conference. This will oversee the enforcement of traffic rules and seek solutions to the city’s traffic problems.
Included in the super body will be the city’s Department of Public Safety, MPD-TEU, the Tricycle Regulatory Office, Office of the City Engineer, Manila Barangay Bureau, City Treasurer’s Office, and Manila City Hall Action & Support Assignment. Freight industry representatives, schools, local politicians and port operators will also be involved.
“Traffic is everybody’s concern. We should come up with a collective effort to address our perennial traffic problems,” Alcoreza said.