In the coming days, the Philippine National Police–Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) personnel deployed on EDSA will not just stand there and direct traffic.
Aside from its primordial mission of hunting down criminals like carjackers, this special police unit will be apprehending motorists who violate traffic rules and regulations. And now, its officers can apprehend violators on their own, without asking traffic constables of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to issue official violation receipts (OVR) or traffic tickets to erring motorists on their behalf.
MMDA operations manager Bong Nebrija says that his agency and the PNP-HPG have agreed to split their jurisdiction over EDSA in anticipation of the increased traffic volume and congestion these ‘ber’months.
Under the new arrangement, Nebrija’s team will man the stretch of EDSA from Pasay City to Ortigas Avenue, and the PNP-HPG will cover the area from Ortigas Avenue to Timog Avenue. Timog Avenue to North Avenue will again be Nebrija’s turf; the section from North Avenue to Monumento will be the responsibility of the MMDA North Traffic Enforcement District.
Nebrija adds that the PNP-HPG has again been given OVRs ahead of the implementation of the new scheme. Previously, the unit had been stripped of its power to issue OVRs after it failed to account for some 18 booklets of traffic tickets provided by the MMDA. As to what happened to those 18 booklets, we have no idea yet. “We already considered them ‘lost’ items,” Nebrija says.
But now, the MMDA feels that it’s a must for PNP-HPG personnel deployed on EDSA to be armed with traffic tickets, considering the magnitude of the problem along the thoroughfare. According to Nebrija, the PNP-HPG has agreed to draft an affidavit of loss so they all can move on: “Alam naman natin na ang HPG, talagang may dating yan sa kalsada. They are armed, at makikita mo sa uniform nila na sila ay pulis. And because they are the police, they have the arresting power,” he explains.
Just the same, Nebrija says that motorists who will be issued OVRs still need to transact with the MMDA, not with the PNP, when it comes to paying the corresponding penalties.
Do you think this move will make the motorists on EDSA behave?