Traffic enforcers to be renamed ‘constables’
What’s in a name? It could smell just as sweet, or as foul.
In a few weeks, traffic enforcers of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will henceforth be called “constables,” a term used in Britain and British territories for policemen.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said the renaming was intended not simply to give a nice British sheen to his blue-uniformed men, but also to enhance professionalism.
“We want our personnel to be easily identified and to get more respect,” Tolentino said over the phone. “We also want the skills upgrade to instill pride and nationalism in our constables.”
Traffic enforcers will be selected according to their qualifications, which include physical fitness, he said.
Tolentino did not elaborate further, but said he wanted his men to be set apart—in a class all their own, distinguished from local government people doing the same traffic monitoring and enforcement.
Aside from the skills upgrade, the constables will undergo personality improvement classes, which the MMDA chief said would instill “good grooming, proper decorum and discipline among them.”
The training of the select personnel was scheduled for next week and the launch of the “Edsa 500” was expected in the third week of November, according to Tolentino who announced the project over the MMDA’s weekly radio show.
Tolentino explained the deployment of constables would be done “strategically” to ensure that they would not be spread out thinly.
They would maintain their blue uniforms, but Tolentino said they might wear a “rayadillo”—a Spanish-era type of hat.
The name change is part of the agency’s “Edsa makeover” to ensure smooth traffic flow not only in Metro Manila’s main thoroughfare but in other clogged major streets.
The question is, will it go the same way as the other Tolentino initiatives—like getting rid of “colorum” buses and “kotong”—that after so much fanfare have fallen by the wayside?
Traffic remains as atrocious as ever, particularly during the rush hours. And especially during the holidays and at night, when the enforcers disappear, and the “kings of the roads” flout basic traffic rules.
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