PNP Highway Patrol Group takes over EDSA traffic law enforcement

The Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Highway Patrol Group has been tasked to lead traffic law enforcement along the 17-kilometer Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA). President Benigno Aquino III gave this directive after an inter-agency meeting in Malacanang Tuesday, aimed at addressing the worsening vehicle congestion in the metropolis.

In a briefing, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said it was agreed during the meeting to focus on six major intersections along EDSA that are considered chokepoints.

These intersections are at Balintawak, Cubao, Ortigas, Shaw Boulevard, Guadalupe, and Taft Avenue.

Coloma said the police’s Highway Patrol Group to be deployed as soon as possible would be aided by traffic personnel from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Land Transportation Office (LTO), and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

Other items agreed during the meeting included the stricter enforcement of the bus lanes, clearing of obstructions along EDSA and alternate routes, and continuing consultations with all stakeholders.

Coloma said the initial focus is EDSA because the President still awaits reports on the situation in the whole metropolis and because EDSA has the heaviest volume of vehicle and people traffic on a daily basis. He said this decision was made as an immediate solution since traffic congestion had affected not just the economy but the health and well-being of the citizens.

He said a holistic approach was needed to address the situation, thus, the need for public education and awareness and not just traffic law enforcement and road engineering.