House Approves Traffic Crisis Bill On 3rd Reading

The House of Representatives on Monday night approved on third and final reading the proposed Traffic Crisis Act.

With 188 affirmative votes, eight negative votes, and no abstention, the lower chamber approved House Bill 6425, which seeks to prescribe an “urgent, comprehensive and integrated land-based traffic management” to address the land traffic congestion crisis in Metropolitan Manila, Metropolitan Cebu, and Metropolitan Davao.

Under the bill, the Secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) shall be designated as the de officio Traffic Chief, who shall have power of control and supervision over land transportation agencies, including the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the proposed metropolitan Cebu Traffic Coordinating Council, and the proposed Davao Administrator.

The Traffic Chief shall have the power to harmonize and enforce all traffic rules and regulations to implement a unified traffic system throughout each of the metropolitan areas.

The Traffic Chief can carry out all priority projects and programs that will have immediate, significant, and measurable impact on the land-based traffic crisis.

The Traffic Chief is also empowered to develop and issue a comprehensive traffic rule handbook and come up with a traffic impact plan.

The bill also mandates the formulation of a Traffic Management Plan (TMP) for each of the metropolitan areas that must detail the concrete steps to be taken to alleviate the traffic crisis in a measurable manner.

The TMP must contain 19 minimum components, such as the organizational structure of covered agencies, route rationalization, establishment of friendship routes, promotion of sustainable transport, traffic flow and volume reduction schemes, clearing of sidewalks, establishment of elevated crosswalks, and designation of public utility vehicle terminals. (PNA)