MMDA resorts to volunteers to beef up undermanned traffic force

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 26 2017 09:00 PM

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will start deploying volunteers to augment its depleted force of traffic officers.

MMDA general manager Tim Orbos said the agency is currently working on a bare minimum number of traffic enforcers.

Orbos said traffic personnel manning major thoroughfares should ideally number about 5,000. The present force is at 2,300.

"We have coordinated with the several volunteer groups for the purpose of augmenting our traffic force," Orbos said in a statement.

The MMDA is considering seeking assistance from the Armed Forces of the Philippines for high-risk operations. According to the agency, operations such as clearing of illegal vendors pose such risks, since dispersals can turn violent.

Orbos said fire-volunteer groups have committed about 300 personnel for deployment during weekends in strategic places in Metro Manila. 

Volunteers will operate under the direct supervision of the MMDA, and must provide their own equipment, vehicle and uniform.

Orbos added that all of the deputized traffic force multipliers will undergo training.

Motorcycle riders' organizations, which agreed to police their ranks, will deploy volunteers this quarter as well.

The MMDA plans to outsource the hiring of about 500 traffic enforcers to be trained by the 3rd-party agency.

"We want this planned outsourcing to pose a challenge to our organic traffic personnel, perform well with integrity or lose your job," Orbos said.