'No window hours' traffic scheme to stay: MMDA

Doris Bigornia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 07 2017 04:56 PM

MANILA- The "no window hours" policy for the number coding scheme will now be permanent after it was proven effective, new Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Danny Lim said Wednesday. 

The same goes for the truck ban and the light truck bans in EDSA.

Lim made the announcement in his first meeting with the press on Wednesday.

The no-window scheme on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. was implemented in major Metro Manila roads, including EDSA, in November last year to help ease heavy traffic during the holiday season. It was extended last January until July.

Under the scheme, vehicles banned on a certain day of the week depending on their license plate ending digits, cannot use major metro roads for the “window hours” that are usually from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Lim also warned erring or 'kotong' traffic enforcers of his one-strike policy which includes even a misdemeanor or abuse recorded on social media would be used against them as basis for immediate termination.

This, after a netizen uploaded on Facebook two enforcers in Roxas Boulevard without helmets on over the weekend.

Aside from a dressing down of the two enforcers, Lim warned erring MMDA employees that corruption shall be dealt with accordingly as per the mandate given to him by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Lim said he will also act accordingly on allegations that there are anomalous contracts such as on rehabilitation and procurement of equipment for various MMDA projects.

He refused to divulge which former MMDA official is subject of the review, saying the cases are now being handled by the Court of Appeals.

Lim also appealed to the public not to always blame the MMDA, especially when there is horrendous traffic in Metro Manila as more often than not, the MMDA traffic schemes are superseded by ordinances of local government units.

He said that while his relationship with the 17 member-strong Metro Manila Council is so far cordial, he will push for 2 bills that gives the MMDA more autonomy with the corresponding budget to implement their programs.

Lim said he also supports stiffer penalties and fines to violators of traffic rules and regulations.

Increasing the fines on violations, he explained, is not within his jurisdiction, as it needs the approval of all metro mayors who have set different fines and penalties.

He would therefore push for the uniformity of said fines and penalties.

Lim's MMDA team is also looking into ways to increase the salaries and benefits of MMDA employees, particularly the traffic enforcers and street sweepers.

There are currently only about 2,000 MMDA employees who are on regular status. About 6,000 are getting minimum and below minimum wage salaries with no benefits.