MANILA – As the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) took over EDSA traffic management yesterday, some motorists and commuters acknowledged the improvement in the traffic flow along the highway but traffic marshals admitted that it was ‘not yet perfect.’
“We made a calibration. It’s not yet perfect. This will not be solved in one sitting… [But] I think there is improvement. Some people say there is improvement,” Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras told reporters.
President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III earlier appointed the PNP-HPG as the lead traffic law enforcement agency on EDSA, with orders to prioritize easing the traffic congestion on six choke points – Balintawak, Cubao, Guadalupe, Shaw Boulevard, Ortigas Avenue and Taft Avenue.
“We are making adjustments. I have been monitoring the Guadalupe area. It’s congested in the peak hours. We will take out the barriers,” Almendras said, blaming the traffic jam on the northbound lane of EDSA to traffic barriers earlier laid by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
“We’re going to try Guadalupe northbound without barriers,” he added.
Meanwhile, vehicular accident occurrences dropped and the traffic flow in the southbound lane continued to improve after the HPG took control over traffic management duties.
“Traffic on the whole stretch of EDSA continues to improve with less accidents,” MMDA Assistant General Manager for Operations Emerson Carlos said.
About 96 officers were initially fielded on Metro Manila’s busiest thoroughfare, with eight traffic marshals stationed in each choke point. They were deployed on two eight-hour shifts starting at 5 a.m, carrying traffic violation tickets.
According to the MMDA, there were only 23 accidents reported for September 7 and 8, while there were 37 accidents reported for September 6.
The HPG, for their part, welcomed the positive feedbacks but believed that it was too early to assess their service and efficiency.
“It’s too early to make any assessment. Perhaps the HPG needs a week before any assessment can be made,” PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Wilben Mayor said.