By Benjamin T. Bondoc, Philippine News Agency
MANILA, Aug. 23 (PNA) — Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade again warned traffic enforcers to refrain from engaging in corrupt practices or face harsh consequences.
Tugade issued the warning Tuesday during the opening of the re-training program for the first batch of traffic enforcers from the Inter-Agency Committee on Traffic (I-ACT) at the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) headquarters in Makati City.
The I-ACT is composed of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), MMDA, Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG), Land Transportation Office (LTO), and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
Tugade stressed that he will be “uncompromising and unforgiving” in dealing with corrupt practices, no matter how big or how small.
“In Cabinet meetings, President Rodrigo Duterte is always reiterating and emphasizing his order against corruption. As personnel in charge of enforcement, anti-corruption is your marching order,” he said.
Tugade said personnel posing as “fixers inside the agencies are worse than external fixers”, noting that accepting cash, gifts or favors is strictly prohibited.
“Do not ever attempt to celebrate your birthdays with the food coming from motorists, transport operators and businesses. If I know about it, you will be in hot water,” he said.
Tugade also urged the traffic enforcers to fulfill their mandate efficiently to curb traffic congestion in Metro Manila, which has been inflicting huge losses to various businesses.
“Every day, businesses lose billions of pesos due to traffic gridlock. This is why we need to do our job properly. Well, if you fail to fulfill your mandate, just quit. There are others who can enter the service and perform well,” he said.
Tugade added that tough efforts to eliminate corruption will help change the perception of the public towards traffic enforcement agencies.
“As I come to you in humility, I come to you with a request. Let us work together and show the people that they can trust traffic enforcers, that they must respect your authority. It is possible if you effectively perform your duties,” he added.
With this, the transportation chief said he wants to see a “real visibility” of traffic enforcers in various parts of the metropolis, rain or shine.
The program seeks to enhance the skills of I-ACT personnel in terms of traffic direction and control.
Aside from topics on traffic management, the module used for the seven-day re-training program includes discussions on values formation and Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
“There is a need to put emphasis on values formation, especially if you are dealing with traffic problems. We need to put people who have good moral values in order for them to effectively carry out their duties in the midst of all these problems,” Tugade said.
Tugade said these training courses will be continuous, noting that traffic enforcers who will fail based on evaluation will not be deployed to the streets.
On the sidelines of the event, Tugade visited the MMDA Metrobase Command Center and viewed the monitors of the closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras showing the real-time traffic situation in Metro Manila’s major thoroughfares.
Other officials who graced the event were MMDA General Manager Thomas Orbos; Assistant General Manager for Operations Julia Nebrija; LTO Chief Edgar Galvante and LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra. (PNA)