By Benjamin T. Bondoc
MANILA (PNA) – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said Wednesday it will push for the provision of a hazard pay for its traffic constables.
In an interview, MMDA General Manager and concurrent Officer in Charge Thomas Orbos said this is to protect and compensate constables exposed to the perils of traffic in the streets of Metro Manila, such as extreme weather conditions, pollution and harassment from abusive motorists.
“On the matter of hazard pay for our traffic constables, we are discussing it with the Department of Transportation, under the leadership of Secretary Arthur Tugade,” Orbos said.
“Just like soldiers, our traffic enforcers in the streets brace themselves for war-like traffic management tasks. This is why they deserve to get hazard pay,” he explained.
Based on the modified salary schedule for civilian and uniformed personnel under Executive Order 201, an MMDA traffic constable’s monthly salary ranges only from PHP10,000 to PHP15,000.
At present, among those who are given hazard pay are military and uniformed personnel, health workers and science and technology employees.
In the absence of a hazard pay, the MMDA has undertaken measures to ensure the protection of traffic constables while performing their duties.
In 2013, the agency began implementing a ‘heat stroke break’ for its traffic enforcers and street sweepers from March to May to protect them from the harmful effects of the sun’s scorching heat.
The MMDA, meanwhile, is providing raincoats and boots to enforcers during the rainy season.
In 2002, the Metro Manila Council, MMDA’s policy-making body, approved the provision of incentives to traffic enforcers and enforcement units from the money it generates from the collection of traffic violation fines and penalties.
The measure seeks to encourage the constables to effectively perform their traffic management duties.
Of the total amount collected, 50 percent goes to MMDA, 20 percent goes to traffic enforcers, 15 percent to traffic commanders, 10 percent to local government units, and 5 percent to traffic enforcement units.
However, the Commission on Audit slammed this measure in its audit report on the agency in 2010, noting that the PHP22.5 million worth of incentives from MMDA’s collection of traffic violation fines granted to constables from 2005 to 2010 has no legal basis.