Isko slams Bistek for Manila truck ban criticism
MANILA, Philippines – Open a pier in Quezon City, then let's talk.
Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno on Wednesday, February 12, hit back at Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista for his comments on Manila's impending truck ban.
"We are only after the welfare of the millions of Manileños who have for years suffered because of the tremendous traffic congestion that these trucks bring," said Moreno.
Bautista called the ban, which will be implemented on February 24, "parochial" and expressed concerns over the congestion it would cause on Quezon City roads EDSA and Quezon Avenue that is perpendicular to it. Quezon Avenue is connected to Manila.
The Quezon City mayor's concern was expressed during a Metropolitan Manila Development Authority meeting to discuss the ban. Other Metro Manila officials were in attendance, but Moreno did not show up, according to a report from the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
"Kung gusto nila, ilipat natin ang pier sa Quezon City para maranasan nila," added Moreno. (If he wants, we can move the pier to Quezon City so they experience it too.)
Moreno also criticized Bautista for "siding" with the truck operators and for meddling in Manila's policies. "The good mayor should stop lawyering for truck and bus operators and should instead lawyer for the people that elected [him] to office."
Bautista should focus on Quezon City's own problems, said Moreno, "in the same way that we are not questioning Quezon City's decision to charge exorbitant garbage fees to its residents," the vice mayor added.
The Supreme Court recently issued a temporary restraining order on Quezon City's new garbage collection fees.
Opposition to policies
The regulation of trucks in the Philippine capital is a long time coming. Moreno and Manila Mayor Erap Estrada earlier said that they would be introducing more policies to regulate public transportation in Manila following the introduction of its bus ban.
Once the truck ban is implemented, trucks will only be allowed to enter and traverse the city from 9 pm to 5 am, along routes pre-approved by the city government.
Various groups, including the Bureau of Customs, have expressed concern over the ban and its effect on truck operations in Manila. Commissioner John Sevilla said it might entail adjusting the bureau's work hours.
Neighboring cities also expressed worry over Manila's bus ban, saying it may cause a spill over of heavy traffic to their jurisdictions.
But Moreno said the city would also introduce new policies to regulate public utility vehicles (UV Express), jeepneys, and even tricycles in Manila.
As for Quezon City's traffic woes, Moreno left Bautista with a proposal: "Give us authority [over EDSA and Quezon Avenue] and we will give it a try." – Rappler.com