THE NEW chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will prioritize easing traffic congestion and flood control projects with the onset of the typhoon season.
After yesterday’s turnover ceremonies at the MMDA headquarters in Makati City, Francis N. Tolentino, three-term mayor of Tagaytay City (1995-2004), said he has ordered a review of the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program or number coding scheme and at the same time limiting exceptions, such as ambulances and the media.
Mr. Tolentino said flood control projects will be made more effective.
In a statement, Mr. Tolentino said his administration will involve the public in crafting new programs.
Part of this effort is the setting up of accounts on social networking Web sites such as Twitter and Facebook to help disseminate information on traffic, road accidents and flooding and other road incidents.
Mr. Tolentino also said in the statement that the MMDA will respect the rights of sidewalk vendors and will use restraint in dismantling structures of illegal hawkers.
The former mayor replaced Oscar A. Inocentes, a former judge, who filled in the post left by Bayani F. Fernando who ran but lost in the vice-presidential elections.
Previous MMDA chairmen included former Makati mayor now Vice-President Jejomar C. Binay and former election commission chairman Benjamin S. Abalos, Sr.
First called Metropolitan Manila Authority, the agency was created during the Marcos regime and was initially headed by then Metro Manila Governor Imelda R. Marcos.
Proposals have been filed in Congress to amend the MMDA charter, or Republic Act 7924, to give the agency more powers to craft and enforce laws.
At present, the agency functions based on a consensus among 17 local government units -- comprising 13 cities and four municipalities -- that form the Metro Manila Council, the highest governing body.