The Metro Manila Development Authority Task Force Special Operations has the most unenviable job in government. The team’s mission, which is to remove sidewalk obstructions and apprehend traffic regulation violators, is an endless undertaking with the many recidivist vendors, irresponsible car owners and colorum drivers infesting city streets.
That is not to mention defiant violators who confront members of the Task Force who are merely doing their job. Facebook is replete with video posts of Task Force operations where they have to take a stand against insults and rants of arrogant motorists.
The daily stress of facing angry car owners whose vehicles are towed away for illegal parking and vendors who fight against confiscation of their carts and goods or demolition of their makeshift stalls is compounded by the fact that there are also erring traffic enforcers, police impostors and fake towing services that prey on unsuspecting drivers or car owners.
More than the expletives the Task Force has to endure, there is also the risk of actual harm from violent motorists or vendors particularly if they are armed during the confrontation.
Despite the risks and the demands of their job, what is admirable is that they strive to conduct themselves professionally, extending courtesy to compliant motorists but being uncompromising for violators.
In short, they get the job done: traffic violation tickets are issued for illegally parked vehicles or the offending car is impounded if not removed within the five-minute deadline. Stalls illegally occupying sidewalks are demolished.
It’s a wonder why many people can’t understand that the Task Force is performing a public service. The Task Force’s critics are actually doing a disservice to motorists and pedestrians who have the right to the safe and unhampered use of roads and walkways.
Theirs may be considered a thankless job, but it’s heartening to see that the Task Force perseveres in the performance of its mission. Surely there are silent fans cheering for them when they clear sidewalks of obstruction and roads from traffic offenders.
Metro Manila is in a big mess and the job of fixing it can be likened to those of soldiers battling anti-government forces. They have to take on the role of warriors.
Metro Manila motorists can actually enjoy a smooth flow of road traffic and pedestrians can walk on unobstructed sidewalks without the Task Force’s intervention. But that can only happen if everyone observed road regulations and extended courtesy to fellow motorists.
For now, we still need these gallant road warriors.