Why MMDA giving up on uniform traffic fine ratesBy Miko Morelos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority may have succeeded in implementing a unified traffic ticketing system for the Metro’s 16 cities and lone municipality but motorists can no longer look forward to a uniform set of rates for traffic fines and penalties.
The possibility of imposing a standard set of rates for traffic fines became a distant reality on Tuesday after MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino told reporters that it might not be feasible after all.
According to Tolentino, the impact of a traffic violation varies from area to area.
“When a vehicle stalls on Ayala Avenue for a couple of minutes, it has a significant economic impact on Makati as compared to a stalled vehicle in one of the inner streets in other cities,” he explained.
Tolentino gave other examples to illustrate his point that each city had a different view of the impact of a traffic violation on its locality as he also cited the varied tax rates being imposed by the different local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila.
He went on to say that the current system seemed to be working so there was no need to come up with a uniform rate for traffic fines.
Tolentino, however, was interested in interconnecting the database of all Metro LGUs on traffic violators to make it easier to verify a driver’s record.
After nearly two decades of discussions, the MMDA and Metro mayors finally adopted on March 1 a single-ticketing scheme instead of allowing each LGU to issue its own traffic citation ticket.
Under the new system, all local traffic bureaus now recognize citation tickets issued outside their area.
The uniform traffic ticketing system was approved following a dialogue hosted by Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo and attended by representatives of transport groups such as the Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers, Pangkalahatang Sanggunian Manila and Suburbs Drivers Association and Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide.