MMDA deploys an army of blue-clad so-called traffic enforcers all over the metro and I hate them as much as I hate their “MMDA Labs You” tarpaulin banners which is a lot.
Motorists like me have learned to steer clear of these boys in blue. They seem to serve absolutely no other purpose than to hand out tickets to motorists erring or not. And they only seem to be around when the number coding scheme is in effect or during merienda time, otherwise they magically disappear.
Given our history of red tape, one of the most irritating things that a driver can experience on the road is to be apprehended by traffic cops and enforcers. For one, some of their charges are oftentimes absurd interpretations of traffic laws. As for MMDA traffic enforcers, I had more than one nasty encounter with them.
Here’s one instance. I was driving in one of the crazier areas of Quezon City (somewhere in the south triangle) and since I am not too familiar with the area and forgot my city atlas (a must-have for motorists) so I decided to pull over (carefully, signal lights and all) and ask one of them. I haven’t even rolled down my window when he whipped out his ticket book and started writing stuff on it. With my window down, I was then greeted with a smug, “Ser, lisensya niyo.”
It already took great humility in part as a manly man to ask for directions and the fellow returns my courtesy with a traffic ticket. In the days of old, I would have contented myself slapping that person’s face with my gloves and challenge him to a duel. But then again, those were the days of horse and buggy and traffic enforcers would’ve been more than pointless.
It’s a good thing that these MMDA boys get more than befuddled by a stream of polysyllabic words in English that he simply waved me off. And I never even got directions. Had I not been lucky that day, I would’ve gotten a juicy ticket. Rather than incovenience myself with contesting tickets with their so-called Traffic Adjudication Board, I would’ve paid. Because here’s what you have to go through to contest a citation:
- File a written complaint with the TAB
- Secure verification and clearance from data division to clear you from existing tickets
- Hearing officer schedules hearing and both motorist and enforcer are summoned
- Both parties are heard in the hearing
- Protest to be decided through resolution
- Head of TAB reviews and approves the resolution
- If citation is upheld, motorist deals with the fine/sanction
Here’s a video to boot.
It’s nice to see that there’s a venue to contest such charges but easily that’s at least a couple of workdays lost if you decide to go through with it. And time is more than a luxury for the working Filipino. I have yet to meet someone who has gone through the process and succeeded.
On another instance, I got a ticket for “illegal parking.” Know that pink line along sidewalks? Apparently, they’d slap you with a violation even if only an inch of your bumper encroaches the pretty pink line. That time, there was no reasoning with the enforcer since the ticket was just left pinned under my windshield wiper. I just dropped by a Metrobank branch and paid the ticket. I just kept the payment stub and a photocopy for future reference.
Anyway, my point is, if there’s one thing that these enforcers should do is to direct traffic first, watch out for violators second. But I guess that’s why Mr. Fernando elected to call them “enforcers” and not “aides”.