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Those traffic snarls


Since June 3, drivers and commuters passing through Mandurriao Plaza, Iloilo City have to wiggle their way out of the bedlam of being snarled. There is complete chaos as every driver seeks a space to drive through only to lead the vehicle deeper into the rut of the bottleneck. All streets are filled and there is simply no escape or a way to find an alternative route. A trip to Molo, from Guzman, Mandurriao,  which normally takes 15 to 20 minutes  now 30 0r 40 minutes, at best and a millenium at worst.
The increased volume vehicles brought about by the opening of school classes, the road blocks  and obstructions from  stalled and ongoing construction works and the rains seem to have conspired to make commuting in this part of the country an agony. Worse, the TMTRO which is supposed to ease traffic flow is just too helpless to perform its mandate.
TMTRO, short for Traffic Management and Transport Regulatory Office which City, as the word “management” suggests, is supposed to ease the flow of vehicles to and from Iloilo City.
TMTRO by its lackadaisical performance, may still be deserving its name although this time, the “M” should read “Mismanagement” which that accursed office has been adeptly doing.
Joe Tengco, TMTRO czar, says he has 375 traffic enforcers under him. That makes him equivalent to a Philippine Army battalion commander. So far though, with the opening of classes, Tengco’s personnel have become invisible in Mandurriao, particularly, at the plaza and the vicinity of the Western Visayas Regional Medical Center (WVRMC) where they are needed most.
It has been happening; it happened before and is happening now – Tengco and his people are invisible in Mandurriao. Motorists and commuters are cursed by, and are cursing in return, during the traffic snarls where vehicles are put to a standstill indefeinitely:  (Expletives!) Diin mga traffic auxiliary man?
None. Nada. Those heading to Molo could not find them before and after public venues. As always, there is still one found standing helplessly at the middle of the junction by the Mandurriao public market swarmed by vehicles from all corners.
Why o why, traffic czar Joe Tengco, have you assigned only one soul at an intersection without a back-up?
Where are the rest of the traffic enforcers, all 375 of them, Joe Tengco?
That query begs for an immediate answer. The battalion-strong traffic enforcers can nowhere be found in these urgent times because they are just invisible, period. They cannot be found because more than half of them are ghost, period.
They are mere names appearing in the payroll, either a favored few who report on the 15th and 30th days of the month to collect their wages, or actual ghosts whose salaries go to the wrong hands belonging to luckier souls including some honorable men and women of the “august body”, reports reaching us say.
That also tempts us to quiz the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) which recently went on a frenzy of demolishing serviceable and functional concrete roads for re-concreting.  Why throw the bulk of the road projects in Iloilo City?
There are roads within the city crying for urgent repair, why does the DPWH prefer to reconstruct those that hardly need one? The concrete road along the Western Visayas Regional Medical Center was still functional; it was overlaid by asphalt during the Dinagyang (January 2012). Why did the DPWH demolish it while in contrast, it skirted the old road cutting through the old airport which till to date, is riddled with potholes?
There are barangays reached only by foot or motorbikes because of poor roads or none at all. Why has the DPWH forsaken them?
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