CAMP CRAME, QUEZON CITY – A more stringent enforcement of traffic laws and regulations is on the way as the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) signed a Commitment formally designating the Philippine National Police – Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) as the enforcement arm of the DOTr today, 11 March 2019.
Signed by DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade and DILG Secretary Eduardo Año, the Commitment authorizes the PNP-HPG to enforce traffic rules and regulations within Metro Manila and the neighboring regions, in full support of the operations of the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (i-ACT).
Under the Commitment, the PNP-HPG will deploy 300 uniformed personnel (25 Police Commissioned Officers and 275 Police Non-Commissioned Officers) for the National Capital Region and Regional Units that will provide logistical mobility support to strengthen the enforcement operations of i-ACT.
PNP-HPG shall also coordinate with the DOTr and its attached agencies, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), in ensuring the effective implementation of the agreement.
The Commitment of the DILG, through PNP-HPG, shall take effect immediately after the signing ceremony.
“Sabi ng ating Pangulo, ‘give the Filipino a comfortable life.’ Nandito tayo ngayon sapagkat sa ating panunumpa sa lengguwahe ng ating Pangulo, tayo ay magsisilbi sa Pilipino upang sa ganoon, ang kapwa Pilipino ay magkaroon ng comfortable life. And we will inculcate that comfortable life through enforcement and discipline on the road, and through proper compliance of the law,” Secretary Tugade said in his speech.
The transportation chief added that the partnership between the DOTr and the PNP-HPG was borne by the idea of former HPG Chief and current LTFRB Board Member Antonio Gardiola.
“Nung bago pa si General Gardiola, wala pang dalawang araw, sabi ko sa kanya, ‘General Gardiola, gusto ko ituloy mo ang partnership between PNP and the Department of Transportation. Gusto ko, paigtingin mo at bigyan ng lakas ‘yung tinatawag na enforcement.’ In barely two weeks, tinawagan ko si Secretary Año, sabi ko, ‘kailangan ko kayo’,” Secretary Tugade recounted.
Aside from its personnel, PNP-HPG will be committing its logistical resources consisting of 24 mobile cars and 82 motorcycle units. For DOTr’s part, all personnel from the LTO, LTFRB, and the i-ACT Secretariat, including all mobile cars and motorcycle units, will also be deployed.
“I am pleased to announce the signing of Memorandum of Agreement by and between the Philippine National Police, Department of Transportation, MMDA, Metro Manila Council, LTO, LTFRB and Coast Guard to further strengthen the enforcement capabilities of the Inter-Agency Council for traffic or I-ACT, through the support of the Department of Interior and Local Government,” PNP Chief P/Director General Oscar Albayalde said.
The DOTr will take the lead through the designation of a Chief of i-ACT Task Force, who will be responsible for the deployment of PNP-HPG personnel and logistical support in their respective posts.
Furthermore, an Inter-Agency Technical Working Group shall be established within 30 days upon the effectivity of the Commitment to draft the implementing guidelines.
Coast Guard Assistance
Apart from the PNP-HPG, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has also lent its hand in supporting the operations of i-ACT, through the efforts of Secretary Tugade and PCG Commandant Admiral Elson Hermogino.
Under the directive of Secretary Tugade, Admiral Hermogino immediately responded with the assignment of 25 PCG personnel to aid the i-ACT. Just this month, the PCG personnel graduated from their LTO training in preparation for their field assignment, with another batch of PCG personnel to undergo training in the succeeding weeks.
With the support of the PCG, and now the PNP-HPG, i-ACT will continue its nationwide apprehension of illegal Public Utility Vehicles (PUVS) or colorum vehicles to ensure road safety for the riding public.