The University of the Philippines National Center for Transportation Studies had a “soft” first offering of their course on Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA) last July 5-7, 2011 in Toyota Training Room, UP NCTS, Diliman, Quezon City.
“Soft” in the sense that there were few participants joined by one from Bayauan representing Visayas, three for General Santos City representing Mindanao and the rest from different parts of Luzon such as Bulacan, Laguna and cities within Metro Manila. The participants were members from the traffic management division of most Local Government Units (LGUs). They are the evaluators from the city or LGU side before a proponent could push through with any project. They are the evaluators who give building permits or certificate of occupancy to developers or would-be businesses ib their locale.
Some of them may be reluctant on attending this course but towards the end of the three-day event, a more enlightened faces can be seen in them. It is through more knowledge about TIA could they be truly empowered to be effective in their roles and responsibilities in their respective cities. As they say, “Knowledge is power.”
On the third day, a participant asked Dr. Cal this question: “What are or should be our next steps as we go back to our provinces and cities? Because at this moment I or may be most of us seem to be lost on what to do after this enlightening course. We have learned or we were equipped now about TIA but what are to be expected from us as we head home?”
Dr. Cal then challenged them to convince their superiors or mayors to come up with city ordinance on TIA, be more proactive by sharing what they learned to their neighboring cities, and to apply what they learned in their practice.
During the closing remarks, the participants’ representative gave feedback and his short speech was deeply encouraging and inspiring not only to his fellow participants but even to the NCTS admin and staff who organized the event. Indeed, they were sent by their mayors because their mayors believed in them. Then through them, lies the power to convince their bosses that there is a need for TIA. And changes in their cities will start from few but bold people like them.