Thomas Orbos, the general manager of the Metro Manila Development Authority, has been designated as concurrent Transportation undersecretary for roads.
The 52-year-old brother of Oscar Orbos, who also served as secretary of the defunct Department of Transportation and Communications during the time of the late former President Corazon Aquino, was tapped to head the Inter-Agency Council on Traffic.
The I-ACT is composed of agencies such as Department of Transportation, Philippine NationalPolice-Highway Patrol Group, Land Transportation Office, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, and the MMDA.
MMDA chairman Danilo Lim said Orbos will stay as the general manager of the MMDA.
“What I understand is that his position here will not be affected and he will be serving the MMDA while performing another function at the DOTr,” said Lim.
“It’s okay for us because Tim served well here and he will do more to help the MMDA in its mandate.
“The government formed I-ACT to manage traffic in the National Capital Region and promote cooperation in the fields of traffic congestion, commuters’ safety, anti-colorum operations, and enforcement of traffic rules.
Some of the traffic measures being enforced by I-ACT are the expanded Number Coding Scheme with no window hours, the closed-door policy for public utility buses, the three-month moratorium on road diggings, the motorcycle lane policy, the Mabuhay Lanes or alternate routes for private motorists, the deployment of additional traffic personnel, adjusted shopping mall hours, the banned delivery of goods during daytime and the personal monitoring of top MMDA officials to monitors of CCTV cameras in the NCR.
Last year, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the appointment paper of Orbos as general manager and concurrent officer-in-charge of the MMDA, replacing lawyer Emerson Carlos, who resigned as chairman on Aug. 19, 2016.
The MMDA then under the management of Orbos initiated numerous reform programs to better improve public service.
Orbos, however, admitted that they cannot immediately solve the traffic problem in the metropolis in spite of the numerous measures being implemented by the government.
MMDA officials said the increasing number of private vehicles remain as a major cause of monstrous traffic in the metropolis, especially along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue.
They said the actual capacity of EDSA is 6,000 vehicles one direction per hour, but is now being used by 6,800 vehicles during peak hours
The MMDA reported that about 6,000 private cars are being sold every month.
It added that traffic in Metro Manila resulted in an estimated productivity loss of around P2.4 billion a day or more than P800 billion a year.