MANILA, Philippines – Albay Representative Joey Salceda on file with the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday, May 27, a petition to scrap the ban on provincial buses on EDSA, saying the policy “is utterly oppressive and unfair.”
The ban is set to take effect on Saturday, June 1, by virtue of MMDA Regulation No. 19-002, Series of 2019, which was approved by the Metro Manila Council (MMC) last March 26.
Based on the regulation, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will:
- Prevent provincial buses from entering EDSA
- Revoke the permits for their bus terminals
- Designate Santa Rosa, Laguna (in the south), and in Valenzuela City (in the north) as endpoints for provincial buses
Salceda’s is the second petition to be filed with the High Court against the provincial bus ban. AKO-Bicol, a party-list organization, earlier told the SC that the MMDA has no authority to implement this regulation. It also questioned the lack of public consultation before the regulation was adopted.
Salceda raised the same argument that the MMDA does not have any police or legislative power to implement this.
“In issuing the MMDA Regulation, prohibiting and revoking permits to all affected PUBs (public utility buses) along EDSA is already encroaching into the realm of a legislative body and not performing an administrative functions which is the limits of its authority under Republic Act 7924,” the Albay congressman’s 15-page petition, filed through counsel Caroline Cruz, said.
In addition, the MMDA will be violating the franchises that these buses had been awarded by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
Salceda also said the ban on 6,000 provincial buses is not likely to solve Metro Manila’s traffic problems because the national government, through the LTFRB, is expected to give permits to 14,000 new premium taxis, 2,000 new P2P buses, and thousands of new UV Express vans to transport the more than 50,000 passengers who will get off the two stop-off points every day.
“How then will they reduce traffic when they will add an assortment of close to 20,000 new vehicles just so they can evict 6,000 provincial buses from EDSA? Add the Grab vehicles who will be paged by loyal riders to and from both stop off points towards EDSA and what do we have?” Salceda said.
If anything, the lawmaker said, the MMDA’s provincial bus ban will only cause “great economic disruption, inconvenience, expenses and damages to multitudes of commuters to and from as far as the Visayas and the Bicol region.” – Rappler.com