MMDA exec explains why traffic enforcers are ‘vanishing’

Published April 18, 2021, 8:30 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

If you’re a motorist and you’ve been noticing fewer traffic enforcers from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on roads, then your eyes aren’t deceiving you.

MMDA Assistant General Manager for Finance and Administration Romando Artes confirmed in a DZBB radio interview Sunday, April 18 that there are times during the day when the number of agency enforcers “substantially” drops.

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has everything to do with it, apparently.

“Actually nagbaba nga po tayo ng bilang [ng enforcer]…minsan nagku-quarantine po kasi, kaya po nababawasan. Hindi lang dahil tinamaan ng sakit (Actually we did reduce the number of enforcers…the number is reduced because of some of them undergo quarantine. So it’s not only because they’re getting sick), Artes said.

“Syempre po may protocol po tayo na kapag na-expose, magku-quarantine po ng 14 days kaya po nababawasan din po substantially ang bilang ng enforcers po natin sa kalsada (Of course we have a protocol that says once you’re exposed, you have to undergo quarantine for 14 days that’s why the number of enforcers on roads have substantially gone down),” the official explain.

Some 200 MMDA personnel have been infected with the dreaded COVID-19, Artes said. Half of those remain active cases.

Of the eight who have died from the agency due to COVID-19, four were traffic enforcers.

The other four were composed of former MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim, and three office workers. Former Mandaluyong City mayor Benhur Abalos has since replaced Lim at the agency’s helm.

At any rate, Artes said the MMDA makes it a point to deploy a sufficient number of enforcers during rush hour, their COVID-related workforce troubles notwithstanding.

‘Pag peak hours po, mine-make sure naman po natin na may sapat na bilang…sufficient na bilang para ma-mentena po yung kaayusan ng atin kalsada (During peak hours, we make sure that we deploy a sufficient number of enforcers so that we can maintain orderliness on roads),” he said.