In the province, traffic enforcers are one of the major causes of heavy traffic. The phrase, “may pulis kasi” is commonly heard whenever anyone gets stuck in traffic. In rural cities wherein traffic lights are non-existent, traffic enforcers during rush hours are the ones controlling the traffic flow. Yet people sometimes ask, are they doing more bad than good?
How come people ponder such thoughts when traffic enforcers are supposedly a necessity? Because these enforcers are very inconsistent with what they do. Some days they are present, some days they are not. And people have witnessed that during the days they are absent, traffic flows smoothly and no one is forced to wait painstaking seconds for traffic to flow once more. Another inconsistency is that there are times that small intersections are still managed by these enforcers when clearly there’s no need to do so. Sometimes, a highway which branches out to many side streets has an enforcer on each side street even when the distance between each side street is less than 500 meters! During these unfortunate days, expect that a usual 5 minute ride to your destination will be prolonged to 10 minutes.
There are also times that traffic enforcers tend to be choosy. I have observed that at times my lane is not moving for almost 5 minutes because the traffic enforcer choose to empty one particular lane. And then our lane would move but only for a second before being stopped once more to let another lane pass by for several minutes. These scenario, based on my experience, happens also in some intersections in Metro Manila that is controlled by traffic enforcers.
I am not saying that all traffic enforcers are bad. PNoy did say in his SONA that traffic enforcers who regulate traffic ought to receive a word of thanks for their dedication despite the horrible weather conditions. However, in the provinces, I would rather see traffic lights than traffic enforcers. Or else, consistency in how they implement proper traffic flow. This would certainly prevent stress levels from rising even before one reaches the office.
*The author is from Naga City.