Practical, short-term solutions to Diversion Road mishaps pushed

DANGEROUS SPOT. This part of Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue in Mandurriao, Iloilo City is weird. Motor vehicles are allowed to make a U-turn on a pedestrian lane, thereby exposing to danger people using the lane. Can’t the Department of Public Works and Highways fix this traffic aberration? Road signs throughout the Philippines are regulated and standardized by this department. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN

ILOILO City – Having an intelligent transport or traffic system is a long-term solution to traffic congestion and vehicular accidents here but this could not be instantly realized.

Since public safety is paramount there must be easily implementable short-term solutions, stressed Mayor-elect Jerry Treñas.

Meeting with officials of the city’s Public Safety and Transportation and Management Office (PSTMO) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Iloilo City District Engineering Office yesterday, Treñas listed several practical measures that could be carried out quickly, particularly on the busy Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue (also called Diversion Road) in Mandurriao district.

Citing the June 15 vehicular accident on the avenue that killed a public elementary school principal and his teacher wife, Treñas stressed the urgency of the following short-term solutions:

* close the U-turn slot where the couple was hit by a speeding sports car

* put up grills from the spot where the couple was hit up to SM City Iloilo to prevent pedestrians from crossing the avenue

* put rumble strips a few meters before and after pedestrian lanes

* traffic aides must guide Iloilo Esplanade joggers

* duty hours of traffic aides must start early – 5. a.m. instead of the current 8 a.m.

* all pedestrian lanes on the avenue must have traffic aides ready to assist pedestrians

* enforce strictly the 60 kph speed limit; apprehend and penalize violators

* jaywalkers should be apprehended and fined

“If there is a need to increase the penalties against those who do not follow traffic laws and ordinances, we would recommend such to the city council,” said Treñas.

He asked PSTMO chief Jeck Conlu and District Engineer Rodney Gustilo to carry out these short-term solutions as soon as possible.

For the intelligent transport or traffic system, Treñas said a command center (which could double as disaster risk reduction command center) would be established.

It would be set up on a 300-square meter lot that businessman Eddie Gaisano would allow the city government to use (near the Gaisano Capital Iloilo City Center Mall) on Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue.

“We plan to construct a four-storey building. We will have a police, fire and ICER substations there,” said Treñas.

The outgoing congressman revealed that Vice Admiral Alex Pama, consultant for disaster resilience of SM; Ma. Antonio Yulo Loyzaga of Manila Observatory; and Marilou Erni of the National Resilience Council approached him on June 16 and offered to help build the command center.

“I am also following up our request for assistance with Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Danilo Lim so we can professionalize our traffic personnel,” added Treñas.

An intelligent transport or traffic system involves the use of closed-circuit television cameras capable of determining the speed of vehicles (if they are overspeeding) and of recording them. It would also entail the establishment of a monitoring center.

Then mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog thought of having such a system to address traffic congestion, stop illegal parking and curb reckless driving that mostly result in vehicular accidents.

He said it would discourage drivers from disregarding traffic rules and regulations, and it would also help law enforcers to easily identify and catch violators./PN


  1. the only long term solution to such mess is the strict enforcement of a driving school certificate before being given a student license for young adults to get a drivers license. understanding of the rules of the road , such as slow vehicles keep right, and reading traffic signs is important.

    also for the diversion road to be a safe driving place, the u-turn slots should be where there are already traffic lights operating . . . as the left lane which is usually a passing lane should never allow slow moving vehicles as is the case right now.

    no stopping should be implemented on the service road of the diversion road . . . the hotel in front of SM city is the regular violator of this . . . and the traffic police assigned to this place is always sitting in the shades instead of managing traffic in the intersection.

    • another thing that exacerbates the situation is the unabated crossing of pedestrians even without pedestrian lanes. a lot of these people disregard the pedestrian overpass in front of SM for reasons only known to them. proper loading and unloading sections should also be observed. trisikads and tricycles should also not be allowed to use the diversion road as they pose risk to other motorists.


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