World-class traffic lights in Davao

Subscribe Now September 03, 2011 at 08:17pm

I was astounded when I saw the traffic system in this city of durian during my recent visit here to cover for a story in Davao del Sur. We stayed for several nights in Davao City and I immediately noticed the “high-technology” traffic system. Actually, there was nothing special in the traffic lights as they look the same as those in Metro Manila and other rural areas. But what is amazing is the system they are implementing and how they effectively introduced the “high-technology” to the locals here.

All the traffic lights here were equipped with sensors which can easily monitor areas that are congested with vehicles. The traffic light automatically prioritizes the areas where traffic jams are monitored. The red and the green traffic lights were operating based on the volume of the vehicles.

To add to that, the officials here in the Davao also applied the “non-contact” apprehension because of their “state-of-the-art” Public Safety Command Center that can monitor almost all major thoroughfares in the city. Wireless cameras were placed throughout the city and they can monitor the movement in the area “real time.” The officials here refused to give the exact number and area where the cameras were installed for security purposes, but they said, “Davao is well-covered.” Those caught violating the traffic law will be recorded and they will be fined the next time they renew their license or vehicle’s registration.

Apart from solving the traffic mess in the city, the command center is also very helpful in crime prevention, disaster, fire, flooding and other calamities, as it can monitor activities in all the major places.

Would you believe that this traffic system in Davao was patterned after Los Angeles, California? The Davao government invested a lot in this project but it’s worth it.

Insiders informed me that then Davao Mayor Rody Duterte (now vice mayor), was in Los Angeles when he encountered the noticeably effective traffic system in the United States. Duterte immediately conducted his research and later found out that a Filipino-owned company based in the area was behind the said traffic system.

Abratique and Associates Inc., owned by Efren Abratique was then introduced to Duterte and what happened next is history. In less than a year of implementation, the traffic signalization in Davao was awarded the “Engineering Excellence Award” in the prestigious Consulting Engineers and Land Surveyors of California.

Indeed, Abratique and Associates Inc., is truly world class, because they are the only project manager for the traffic signal, highway safety lighting, and traffic signal communications for the 22 mile Los Angeles to Long Beach Light Rail System.

They also have completed more than 500 intersection designs in city, county, and state governmental jurisdiction in California. The company also designed lighting for various on-site parking lots, highway safety lighting at traffic signalized intersections, and new lighting system for street improvements on arterial highways and in subdivisions also in California.

What is more impressive is when I found out that Mr. Efren Abratique is my kababayan in Lian, Batangas (I was raised and grew up in this small but beautiful town). I also learned that because of his achievement, Mr. Abratique who is also the uncle of my two childhood friends -- Michael Masipag and William Pedraza -- was also awarded as one of the most outstanding alumni of Lian Institute (where I also graduated high school) during the school’s 50th anniversary. He is also the recipient of the Most Outstanding Alumni in his Alma Mater University of the East.

Given a chance, I personally believe that Abratique’s company will help resolve the worsening traffic woes in the metropolis, not only because he is my kababayan, but because of his achievement worldwide. Truly world class!


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