Netizen cries foul over violations by Manila traffic enforcers
MANILA, Philippines – When Reshell Mantilla Roja was stopped for a traffic violation in Manila, he knew he was in trouble. But he did not expect how the traffic enforcers would treat him.
In his Facebook post from December 12, Roja said he was stopped by a traffic enforcer at Isetann Recto in Quiapo, Manila. Because he forgot his license at home, he asked the officer to just give him a ticket so he and his children could go their way.
The traffic enforcer, Jose Navarro, called his colleague, T/E Marvin Reyes, who then joined them.
According to Roja, he asked the officers to issue a ticket, but the officers yelled at him in front of his children. When Roja wanted to know why they would not issue a ticket, the two told him to proceed to the impounding area.
Upon arriving at the impounding area, Roja was charged a total of P4,500: P1,500 for the impounding fee, P1,000 for driving without a license, and P2,000 for a traffic light violation. The charges were written on a piece of scrap paper.
Roja paid P1,500 for the impounding fee and was given a handwritten receipt.
Roja’s post has since received 917 reactions and was shared 3,121 times.
Roja filed a complaint with the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau on December 15. The MTPB contacted him and told him they were starting the investigation into the case. They asked him to appear on Tuesday, December 22, to get his side on the matter.
When Roja met with the MTPB, he was told the officers were not acting in accordance with the proper procedures. (READ: What to do when a dubious traffic enforcer flags you down?)
The MTPB issued termination letters to both Reyes and Navarro, whom the letters identified as volunteers. The letters said they were being dismissed for “committing irregularities in the performance of duties.” (READ: How do you identify an authorized traffic officer?)
Rappler attempted to get a statement from the MTPB, but has yet to receive a reply.
The Department of Transportation and Communications has issued Joint Administrative Order No. 2014-1 on the revised schedule of fines and penalties. It says driving without a driver’s license carries the penalty of P3,000, while other traffic violations will cost P1,000 in fines.
What happens if you get apprehended?
Each city in Metro Manila has their particular set of rules for traffic violations. Not all rules are the same, unfortunately. It's best to read up on the traffic rules in the cities you normally pass through.
But, if you get apprehended by an officer from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the government agency has a protocol for traffic officers when apprehending violators.
- Greet the driver with respect and identify yourself
- Inform the driver of his violation
- State their authority
- Respectfully ask for his driver's license
- Inform the driver not to alight from the vehicle
- State the availability of the TAB for lodging a complaint within 5 days or the Roadside Traffic Arbitration during apprehension (on site)
Anyone who encounters an officer violating protocol is advised by MMDA to get the name of the officer and submit a letter of complaint addressed to the Traffic Adjudication Board, MMDA Building, EDSA corner Orense Street, Guadalupe Nuevo, Makati City, within 5 days of apprehension.
Complaints can also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. – Rappler.com