WILL the “Kilos Laban Sa Kotong“ campaign of the Philippine National Police, the Department of Transportation and Communications, the Department of Justice and the Metro Manila Development Authority succeed in at least minimizing bribery and extortion on the road?
The initiative is laudable. It is time that the problem is addressed as it results in bigger problems like the erosion of government’s credibility and the breakdown of order on the road.
While we should all support this campaign specifically by collecting and presenting evidences of the extortion activities of traffic and other law enforcers (and the latter doing the same for the bribing motorists), I believe that the campaign will have better results if other aggressive interventions will be included.
Let us face it. The culture of extortion and bribery on the road exists because such acts are convenient for both law enforcers and motorists to do. Calling on them to collect evidences against each other and report the crime through texting all in the name of creating a matuwid na landas culture is right but may not necessarily be effective.
Will prosecution of erring law enforcers be speedy and will require less time and effort from the complaining or reporting motorists? Will payment of traffic fines be more convenient? These and other similar concerns are practical considerations that should figure out in the overall program of solving the problem.
The campaign will be more effective if the government will partner with civil society organizations in fielding motorists who will violate traffic rules and offer bribes to traffic enforcers for the sole purpose of “catching“ the bribe takers. Likewise, the government can form a special group of traffic enforcers whose main tasks are accosting traffic violators, collecting evidences against bribe givers, and filing the necessary charges against them.
With these, the chances of the campaign succeeding are greater since both traffic enforcers and motorists will not be sure if the ones they are dealing with are the government’s “special agents.“