10 things Metro Manila drivers should know

1. MMDA Enforcers are not allowed to group together while apprehending a motorist. They are not even allowed to stand together in groupsof two (2) or more, except in actual times of special operations (e.g. apprehending groups of smoke-belching/colorum buses).

2. Swerving is not a traffic violation per se. It is defined as a movement wherein vehicles shift from a lane to another. However, it can constitute the offense of reckless driving if it is done without precautions (e.g. swerving in an abrupt and careless manner, swerving without the use of signals, swerving across solid lines).Swerving can also constitute the offense of Disregarding Traffic Signs if there are signs present that explicitly prohibit swerving in the area.A driver's license cannot be confiscated by a Traffic Enforcer during traffic apprehensions except on the following situations:

3. A driver's license cannot be confiscated by a Traffic Enforcer during traffic apprehensions except on the following situations:

1. The driver was involved in a traffic accident

2. The driver has accumulated three (3) or more unsettled violations

3. The driver has been apprehended for the following violations:

  1. Allowing another person to use driver's license
  2. Broken sealing wire
  3. Broken taximeter seal
  4. Colorum operation (cargo/passenger vehicle)
  5. Driving against traffic
  6. Driving under the influence of Liquor or prohibited drugs
  7. Failure to surrender queue / dispatch number at designated exit area (OBR)
  8. Fake driver's license
  9. Fake/altered taximeter seal
  10. Fake/altered sealing wire
  11. Fast/defective/non-operational/tampered taxi meter
  12. Flagged up meter
  13. Illegal or unauthorized counter-flow
  14. Illegal transfer of plates/tags/stickers
  15. Joined/reconnected sealing wire
  16. No driver's ID
  17. Ignoring Organized Bus Route (OBR) interval timers (for 2nd offense)
  18. Skipping or bypassing designated OBR terminals or loading bays (for 2nd offense)
  19. Operating on contractual basis
  20. Out of line operation
  21. Overcharging (with or without conductor) (for the 2nd offense)
  22. Overspeeding
  23. Reckless Driving (2nd offense)
  24. Refusal to convey passengers to destination/trip-cutting (Taxis and Public Utility Vehicles)
  25. Refusal to render service to public (Taxis and Public Utility Vehicles)
  26. Tampered sealing wire
  27. Tampered taximeter seal
  28. Tampering of OR/CR/CPC & other documents (spurious documents)
  29. Undercharging (without conductor)
  30. Undue preference/unjust discrimination
  31. Using motor vehicle in commission of crime
  32. Colorum Operation (passenger)
  33. Reckless Driving (2nd offense)
  34. Undercharging (without conductor)
  35. Failure to surrender queue / dispatch number at designated exit area (OBR)

The above-mentioned administrative violations also require a minimum of 2 hours seminar (for the drivers) at the Traffic Academy.

However, any driver who has committed three (3) or more unpaid violations, whether administrative or moving, shall also be subject to attending seminars, whose length shall be based on the results of the diagnostic exam (exam that will determine the contents of the seminar progress), which will be administered by the Agency.

*Note: If the license is to be confiscated, the Traffic Enforcer should inform the driver of the reason/s for the confiscation and the ticket validity.

If the driver refuses to surrender his driver's license, his plate may be detached pursuant to Section 74 & 75, MC 89-105.

4. Private Vehicles are not allowed to use the yellow lane except when they are about to turn - provided that they start shifting lanes upon seeing the transition lane (broken white lines painted diagonally), that you can see around 50 meters away from an intersection. A motorist intending to make a right turn shall merge to the right 12 meters before the intersection and motorist entering a roadway with a bus or PUJ lane shall merge within 20 meters from intersection. However, selective apprehension of private vehicles using the yellow lane is highly prohibited. The yellow lanes (1st and 2nd lanes in EDSA) are only for City Buses. City Buses are not allowed to go beyond the yellow lanes. If they do so, they will be apprehended for violating the yellow lane policy.

Provincial buses are also not allowed to use the yellow lane. Instead, they are encouraged to use the third lane.

5. Each Traffic Enforcer has his/her own written mission order issued by MMDA Central Admin indicating his area of responsibility (AOR) and time of duty. This mission order shall include, but are not limited to, responsibilities of performing Traffic Direction and Control (TDC) function and providing assistance in traffic crash investigation. The Personnel Inspection Monitoring Group (PIMG) and or MMDA officers shall ask for the mission order during the inspection / monitoring of TE’s at the deployment area or as necessary.

Only Deputized Traffic Enforcer shall flag down a motor vehicle that has committed traffic violation.

Apprehended Motorist upon presentation of his driver’s license to the TE, may ask for apprehending officer’s mission order.

6. Traffic Enforcers should issue OVR in complete uniform, with visible nameplates. Traffic Enforcers are instructed to accomplish the OVR (Ordinance Violation Receipt) without any delay or argument on the road, so as to avoid traffic congestion.

7. The Apprehending Enforcer is allowed to issue another OVR for Storage Fee. If the owner of the impounded vehicle fails to release his vehicle after payment of fine in the stipulated date, the impounding officer shall issue a separate OVR indicating no. of days it has remained at the impounding area.

8. Before apprehending, the Traffic Enforcer should flag down the vehicle and lead it to the roadside where it will not obstruct the flow of traffic. Traffic Enforcers should courteously inform the driver of his violation.

9. Traffic Enforcers are not allowed to ask drivers to alight from their vehicles while the apprehension is taking place. Most importantly, Traffic Enforcers are not allowed to ask or receive bribe money.

10. During traffic apprehensions, the following can be considered as a valid driver's license:

  1. ID Plastic Card
  2. DLR / Temporary Driver's License
  3. TOP (Temporary Operator's Permit)
  4. International Driver's License
  5. Foreign License
  6. Valid LGU OVR

The Traffic Enforcer should exercise extra diligence in verifying the veracity of the data or documents presented.

If you encounter any Traffic Enforcer violating any of these, get the name of the Traffic Enforcer indicated on his/her name plate, and submit a letter of complaint addressed to the Technical Committee on Complaints (TCC), 3rd floor Traffic Discipline Office, MMDA Bldg. EDSA cor. Orense St. Guadalupe Nuevo, Makati City, within 5 days after the apprehension.

In case you are involved in an argument with a Traffic Enforcer, call the MMDA Hotline 136, or the Metrobase at 0917-527-7304. Ask the Metrobase to send inspectors to go to the place where the argument is taking place for proper investigation.

You may also e-mail complaints against erring Traffic Enforcers to the MMDA thru email@mmda.gov.ph. Include full details of the incident (attach photos or videos if possible), so that they will be able to act promptly on the matter. (Read more: Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (2019). 10 Things That Drivers Should Know. https://mmda.gov.ph/20-faq/286-10-things-that-drivers-should-know-updated-may-25-2011.html.)