By Ashley Manabat / Correspondent
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—A task force has been formed and approved by the Regional Development Council (RDC) to oversee traffic management, as well as vehicular and pedestrians’ safety along the MacArthur Highway, described as one of the busiest arterial roads in the country.
A resolution was passed by the RDC last week favorably endorsing the reactivation of Task Force-Project Balik MacArthur (TF-PBM), which will be headed by businessman Rene Romero in partnership with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and concerned local government units.
RDC Chairman and Bulacan Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado said there is a need to oversee and monitor the stretch of the MacArthur Highway from Caloocan City to Tarlac province to rid it of vendors and other obstructions on its shoulders to ease traffic.
Alvarado said P8.4 billion was spent by the government for the widening and rehabilitation of MacArthur Highway that is why there is a need to monitor and rid it of obstructions.
“We have an existing DPWH Department Order 52 series of 2003, which prohibits these obstructions,” Alvarado said.
“TF-PBM should write and remind all establishments within the MacArthur Highway that they do not have parking spaces for their customers at the shoulders of the highway and they will face possible closure of their establishments for their violations,” former DPWH Secretary and now Zambales Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. reiterated.
The RDC earlier created TF-PBM to implement strategies to address traffic congestions and the increase in vehicular and pedestrian accidents.
A report from the Philippine Information Agency—Region III (PIA-3) said “the RDC has achieved positive results from the conduct of multisectoral consultations and site inspections, not only to ease the perceived problems, but to also to rev up economic activities in the area.”
The RDC is the highest policy-making body in Central Luzon and serves as the counterpart of the National Economic and Development Authority Board at the subnational level, according to PIA-3.
The RDC is also the primary institution that coordinates and sets the direction of all economic and social development efforts in the region and serves as a forum where local efforts can be related and integrated with national development activities.
Council members include all governors, city mayors, municipal mayors of capital towns, presidents of municipal mayors’ league, regional directors of national government agencies and representatives from the private sector.