Tougher enforcement: PNP-HPG will be the muscle of the DOTr

EXPECT intensified operations against colorum vehicles, as well as more stringent enforcement of traffic laws and regulations in the coming days. Recently, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) signed a Commitment formally designating the Philippine National Police – Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) as the enforcement arm of the DOTr.

Signed by DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade and DILG Secretary Eduardo Año this morning in a ceremony held at Camp Crame, the Commitment authorizes the PNP-HPG to enforce traffic rules and regulations within Metro Manila and neighboring regions, in full support of the operations of the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (i-ACT).

“The PNP and our uniformed personnel will be a huge help in order to instill discipline on our roads. If there is no discipline and peace and order, there will be no progress and development,” said Tugade.

Under the Commitment, the PNP-HPG will deploy 300 personnel (25 commissioned officers and 275 non-commissioned officers) for the National Capital Region and Regional Units that will provide logistical mobility support to strengthen enforcement operations of i-ACT.

Moreover, PNP-HPG will also coordinate with the DOTr and its attached agencies, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB). The Commitment of the DILG, through PNP-HPG, shall take effect immediately after the signing ceremony.

“I am pleased to announce the signing of Memorandum of Agreement by and between the Philippine National Police, Department of Transportation, MMDA, Metro Manila Council, LTO, LTFRB and Coast Guard to further strengthen the enforcement capabilities of the Inter-Agency Council for traffic or I-ACT, through the support of the Department of Interior and Local Government,” said PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde.

The transportation chief added that the partnership between the DOTr and the PNP-HPG was borne by the idea of former HPG Chief and current LTFRB Board Member Antonio Gardiola.

Besides providing additional manpower, PNP-HPG will also be lending 24 mobile cars and 82 motorcycle units. As for the DOTr, all personnel from the LTO, LTFRB, and the i-ACT Secretariat, including all mobile units, will also be deployed.

The DOTr will take the lead through the designation of a Chief of i-ACT Task Force, who will be responsible for the deployment of PNP-HPG personnel and logistical support. An Inter-Agency Technical Working Group shall also be established within 30 days upon the effectivity of the Commitment to draft the implementing guidelines. The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has also lent its hand in supporting the operations of i-ACT, through the efforts of Secretary Tugade and PCG Commandant Admiral Elson Hermogino.

With the support of the PCG, and now the PNP-HPG, i-ACT will continue its apprehending illegal Public Utility Vehicles (PUVS) or colorum vehicles to ensure road safety for the riding public. (