In an effort to address the perennial issue of traffic particularly in Metro Manila, the Philippine government has formed the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT). I-ACT was designed to stands as a collaborative effort of the agencies such as the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG), I-ACT to provide a comprehensive and integrated approach to traffic management and bring order to the chaos of urban mobility.
It’s a relatively young group, established only in 2016, under the directive of then-President Rodrigo Duterte. Its main purpose: To collaborate the efforts of the various agencies and to focus them on implementing traffic management and enforcement strategies meant to alleviate congestion, enhance road safety, and ensure efficient public transportation.
I-ACT Philippines: An Overview
The I-ACT refers to the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic. It is a task force established in August 2016 to coordinate and streamline the efforts of various government agencies in managing traffic-related concerns. Initially headed by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), it started with agencies including the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) to provide a comprehensive and integrated approach to traffic management.
Nowadays, the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT) Task Force has evolved and is now responsible for coordinating and implementing traffic management and enforcement efforts among various government agencies nationwide. Its purpose is to address and alleviate traffic congestion, enhance road safety, and improve overall traffic flow in key urban areas in the country through collaborative and integrated measures.
The Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT) Task Force in the Philippines was established in August 2016. It was already a multi-agency body aimed at addressing traffic-related issues and improving the overall flow of transportation in Metro Manila and other key urban areas along with representatives from various government agencies, including the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG). It stopped its operations for a while but when it relaunched in September 2017 through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), the task force secured funding from the DOTR and welcomed the participation of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Metro Manila Council (MMC). To date, I-ACT focuses on implementing traffic management and enforcement strategies even as the various agencies collaborate to alleviate congestion, enhance road safety, and ensure efficient public transportation.
The Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT) Task Force in the Philippines is mandated to unify all traffic management operations including manpower, resources, equipment, and infrastructures under a unified chain of command in order to streamline the process of addressing and managing traffic-related issues.
Its key objectives include traffic management, enforcement of traffic laws, and the implementation of solutions to alleviate congestion and improve road safety. I-ACT also aims to enhance collaboration among agencies to achieve a more efficient and organized traffic system in the country through the five Es of traffic:
I-ACT focuses on enforcing traffic rules and regulations to ensure compliance among motorists and pedestrians alike. This includes monitoring and apprehending violators to promote road safety. It also implements pertinent provisions of road laws, statutes, Joint Administrative Orders and other enforceable circulars from the LTO and LTFRB, including:
- Republic Act 4136 (Land Transportation And Traffic Code)
- Republic Act 8749 (Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999)
- Republic Act 8750 (Seatbelt Use Act Of 1999)
- Republic Act 8794 (An Act Imposing a Motor Vehicle Usage Charge…)
- Republic Act 10913 (Anti-Distracted Driving Act)
- Republic Act 10054 (Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009)
- Republic Act 10666 (Safety Of Children Aboard Motorcycles)
- Republic Act 10586 (Anti-Drugged and Drunk Driving Act)
- Joint Administrative Order 2014-01 (Revised Schedule of Fines and Penalties
- for Violation of Laws , Rules and Regulations Governing Land Transportation Office)
- Presidential Decree No. 96 (Declaring Unlawful The Use Or Attachment Of Sirens, Bells, Horns, Whistles Or Similar Gadgets…)
This refers to the act of holding seminars and workshops to inform drivers of basic road safety, driving courtesy, and traffic regulations. These programs are geared toward equipping drivers with the foundation of knowledge necessary to instilling traffic laws and regulations, basic road safety, driving courtesy, and road discipline by holding seminars and workshops provided by LTO and LTFRB.
I-ACT also conducts operations to clear roads of dilapidated and smoke-emitting vehicles, including against illegal structures and constructions. The task force also addresses the problems of traffic caused by worn and dilapidated vehicles and clears the sidewalk of unauthorized features and establishment in partnership with the LGUs.
I-ACT collaborates with urban planners and engineers to devise long-term solutions for traffic congestion. This involves studying traffic patterns, identifying bottlenecks, and proposing effective infrastructure improvements to aid in the efficient flow of traffic. I-ACT also optimizes the establishment of effective control measures, and instruments such as road designs, road signs, traffic lights, pedestrian walkways, and public facilities transportation facilities such as the intermodal terminals, bicycle lanes, and busway systems which aid in the efficient flow of traffic.
I-ACT also implements measures that would optimize the use of roads to avoid waste of valuable resources. The task force also addresses the drag and stall of economic growth by adopting measures that would optimize the use of roads to avoid traffic congestion and waste of valuable resources and through initiatives that alleviate the stumbling blocks.
The task force engages in public awareness campaigns to educate citizens about responsible road use. Through seminars, social media, and community outreach programs, I-ACT seeks to instill a sense of discipline and awareness among the public.
Coordination with Local Government Units (LGUs)
Recognizing the importance of local involvement, I-ACT collaborates with LGUs to implement localized traffic management plans. This ensures that solutions are tailored to the specific needs and challenges of different areas.
Programs and Services
The Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT) in the Philippines is a task force composed of various government agencies working together to address traffic-related issues.
Some of its key programs and services include:
Traffic Management and Enforcement
I-ACT collaborates with relevant agencies to manage and enforce traffic rules and regulations.
This involves crackdowns on unauthorized or “colorum” vehicles, which are those operating without proper permits or licenses.
Public Awareness Campaigns
I-ACT may conduct campaigns to raise public awareness about traffic rules, safety, and responsible driving.
Traffic Engineering Solutions
Working on infrastructure and engineering solutions to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion.
Collaboration with Local Government Units
I-ACT collaborates with local government units to ensure coordinated efforts in addressing traffic issues.
Emergency Response and Assistance
Providing assistance during road emergencies and accidents, coordinating with relevant agencies for quick response.
Keep in mind that the specific programs and services may evolve over time, and it’s advisable to check with more recent sources or the official channels of I-ACT for the latest information.
Some of I-ACT’s notable achievements include the implementation of the following programs:
- “Tanggal Bulok, Tanggal Usok” campaign, which translates to “Remove Junk, Remove Smoke.”
This initiative aims to rid the streets of dilapidated and smoke-belching vehicles, contributing to cleaner air and safer roads.
- Intensified conduct of anti-colorum operations
The intensified operations resulted in the impoundment of 493 vehicles illegally operating as public conveyances from January 2021 to May 2022 with an estimated monetary value amounting to P110,756,000.00.
- Enforcement of Republic Act 4136, DOTr JAO 2014-01, and other special laws related to traffic
Being the law enforcement on behalf of the DOTr have always been a part of I-ACT’s inherent mandate to ensure the compliance of drivers with the Land Transportation and Traffic Code and other special laws related to traffic.
- Management of the Metro Manila Bike Lane Network
The Metro Manila Bike Lane Network which was launched on 27 July 2021 is also among the many success stories of the I-ACT as the enforcement body of the Department of Transportation (DOTr). The task force was tasked to ensure that proper usage of these bike lane networks were being observed and that appropriate traffic rules were strictly being implemented.
- Management of the EDSA Busway in collaboration with I-ACT’s partner agencies, local government agencies, and other stakeholders
I-ACT and its partner agencies have committed to a collective effort to ensure the successful operation of the EDSA Busway through the creation of Operation Plan EDSA Loop I and II—a system that ensures bus operation with a daily 24-hour deployment to manage the queuing of passengers, conduct traffic management, and assist the passengers.
- Creation of a Task Force to assist in the Libreng Sakay for Medical Health Workers Project
The program ensures that medical health workers have dependable transportation as we strive to curb the transmission of the COVID-19 virus, and ensure that medical health workers are at their respective hospital of duty to help save lives.
- Enforcement of DOTr and IATF Guidelines in relation to COVID-19
These guidelines were in place for protection. As such, it was the I-ACT’s duty to ensure safety and public compliance with the DOTr-issued guidelines, known as the Seven Commandments to prevent COVID-19, in order to reduce and contain, if not totally stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
- Creation and Role of I-ACT in the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Enforcement Unit (ADDEU).
Trained and formally organized on 10 March 2022, ADDEU was a recent additional task of I-ACT to help monitor and bring to legal disposition people who had been blatantly driving under the influence (DUI) which is a violation under Republic Act No. 10586 as part of the initiative towards road crash prevention. I-ACT ADDEU operates on a 24-hour basis in the implementation of RA 10586.
- Work with Red Cross during Typhoon Rolly
I-ACT worked with the Philippine Red Cross at the height of Typhoon Rolly to give stranded passengers on the Busway a free ride to PITX where they can safely shelter and get a ride going to their destination.
- Assistance to “Hatid Tulong” Program
Assisted OFWs and individuals who were stranded by COVID lockdowns to be transported back home to their respective provinces under the “Hatid Tulong” program at Rizal Memorial Sports Complex and PITX.
- Task Force PITX
I-ACT personnel is also deployed in Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) to help provide efficient transfer and connectivity for the riding public
- Task Force CUBMA
Task Force CUBMA (Cubao-Makati) was aimed to ease the flow of traffic and lessen travel time from Cubao to Makati with the deployment of additional traffic enforcers along the whole stretch of EDSA.
I-ACT has been whenever the DOTr mandates them to be to address complaints from the local government units and act on public complaints in the Presidential Complaint Center (8888) about illegally-operating transport vehicles while victimizing commuters with their exorbitant fares. I-ACT also sometimes get dispatched in the interest of the general public, particularly, the commuting public to give them a safe, secure and comfortable riding experience.
Challenges and Criticisms
Despite its efforts, I-ACT faces challenges such as limited resources, resistance to change, and the ever-growing volume of vehicles on the road. Critics argue that sustained success requires addressing not only immediate concerns but also implementing visionary urban planning strategies.
Some other challenges faced by the task force include:
- Additional hiring of personnel
The need for more personnel is becoming more prominent with the planned opening of additional bus stations along the EDSA busway within the year. I-ACT was also tasked to undertake traffic management and enforcement along established bike lanes and with the increase in bike lane coverage, the need for more enforcers is needed.
- Procurement of vehicles (either purchased or leased)
The operations I-ACT, especially anti-colorum, is dependent on mobility. As of today, I-ACT is dependent on the hiring of motor vehicles and has already submitted its request to DBM asking for an exemption to hire motor vehicles for more than 15 days. Once approved, this will pave the way for the lease of vehicles through the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) in consonance with the Procurement Law or RA 9184.
- Need to train I-ACT personnel on Emergency and Disaster Response.
The InterAgency Council for Traffic (I-ACT) has been instrumental in ensuring the safety of road users since its inception. The personnel of the Task Force not only enforce traffic laws, but in most cases, also respond to road crashes and assist in medical emergencies within their area of responsibility. Yet, none of the I-ACT personnel are trained, qualified, or equipped to render first aid or collaborative management whenever road crashes, accidents or incidents happen in their area of responsibility where immediate medical assistance is of paramount need. It sometimes cause problems as many motorists also complain about the lack of training and unreasonable demands of I-ACT personnel, along with their poor attitude which borders on rude acts towards violators.
As urbanization continues and the number of vehicles on the road rises, I-ACT remains a crucial player in shaping the future of Philippine traffic management. Through continued collaboration, innovation, and public participation, the task force holds the key to unlocking sustainable solutions for the country’s complex traffic challenges. They also look forward to develop further by inviting other agencies including:
- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
- National Telecommunications Commission (NTC)
- Department Of Public Works And Highways (DPWH)
- Department Of Information And Communications Technology (DICT), and
- Department Of Environment And Natural Resources (DENR)
Video: I-ACT Logo Update
Check out this video by the Special Action and Intelligence Committee for Transportation featuring a teaser video with the logo of I-ACT:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
For your reference, here are some frequently asked questions and answers about the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT) Task Force:
1. What is the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT) Task Force?
The I-ACT Task Force is a collaborative effort among various government agencies in the Philippines aimed at addressing and managing traffic-related issues and challenges.
2. Which government agencies are part of the I-ACT Task Force?
The I-ACT Task Force consists of representatives from the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG).
3. What is the main objective of the I-ACT Task Force?
The primary goal of the I-ACT Task Force is to improve and manage traffic flow, enhance road safety, and address congestion issues in key areas, especially in major metropolitan areas like Metro Manila.
4. What are the key functions of the I-ACT Task Force?
The I-ACT Task Force is responsible for coordinating and implementing traffic management and enforcement activities, conducting operations against illegal transport activities, and promoting public awareness on traffic rules and regulations.
5. How does the I-ACT Task Force address traffic violations?
The task force conducts operations to apprehend and penalize traffic violators. This includes illegal parking, colorum vehicles, and other violations that contribute to traffic congestion.
6. What initiatives has the I-ACT Task Force implemented to improve traffic conditions?
The I-ACT Task Force has implemented various initiatives, including the “Tanggal Bulok, Tanggal Usok” campaign to remove dilapidated and smoke-belching vehicles from the roads and the strict enforcement of traffic rules and regulations.
7. How can the public report traffic-related issues to the I-ACT Task Force?
The public can report traffic-related concerns to the I-ACT Task Force through hotlines, social media channels, or official government websites. It’s important to provide accurate information for swift action.
The Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT) Task Force stands as a testament to the Philippines’ commitment to addressing one of its most persistent issues—traffic congestion. By fostering collaboration among various government agencies and engaging with the public, I-ACT strives to create a safer, more efficient, and sustainable urban mobility landscape for generations to come.
Please note that some of the details in this guide like the partner agencies may change over time, so it’s advisable to check with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for the latest information and the most up-to-date programs and services offered by the I-ACT Task Force via the following contact information:
Department of Transportation (DOTr)
Office Address: The Columbia Tower, Brgy. Wack-wack, Ortigas Avenue, 1555 Mandaluyong City
Satellite Office Address: Primex Bldg. EDSA cor., Connecticut, Greenhills, San Juan City
Official Website: www.dotr.gov.ph
DOTr Trunkline: 8790-8300/8790-8400
DOTr Commuter Hotline: 0920 964 DOTr(3687)