Police powers not all about arming enforcers – MMDA
MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) clarified Thursday that having police powers does not necessarily mean arming its traffic enforcers with guns.
MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia explained that police powers only meant “legislative powers” to allow the agency to craft policies.
“The meaning of police power ay hindi ‘yung may baril, ‘yung aarestuhin mo… Police power means magkakaroon ang MMDA ng legislative power to make policy,” Garcia said in a press conference.
He further said that having legislative powers would give MMDA the authority to overrule city ordinances of local government units (LGUs), thus, making traffic policies uniform.
“Each LGU has their own city ordinance, so sometimes hindi pare-pareho ‘yan. So kung magkaroon kami ng legislative power, mas masusunod ‘yung resolution ng Metro Manila Council,” the MMDA official pointed out.
Garcia also said MMDA having police powers means the agency would have “more teeth” in implementing the rules.
The MMDA General Manager’s clarification came after Edsa traffic czar Bong Nebrija reportedly asked for police powers to authorize MMDA traffic enforcers to confiscate the licenses of traffic violators.
He said Nebrija’s remarks were said “out of frustration” with stubborn drivers who keep on violating traffic rules without have their licenses confiscated.
“Na-frustrate lang si Bong (Nebrija) kasi mayroon talagang mga driver ng bus na nahuli 70 plus, 80 plus times. Kumbaga, sobrang frustrated niya, hindi nya siguro alam kung paano idi-disiplina,” Garcia said.
He said that if MMDA would be granted legislative powers, one of the policies it could implement is allowing enforcers to confiscate license.
Former MMDA chairman and now Marikina 1st District Rep. Bayani Fernando thumbed down such proposed police powers for the agency, saying it will only do more harm than good.
For Fernando, MMDA enforcers do not possess the necessary training for them to be deputized with certain powers, like arresting erring motorists.
Recently, there were calls to review the powers of MMDA for them to effectively manage the worsening traffic jams in Metro Manila, especially in Edsa.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.