Provincial buses still traveled along Edsa even on the day of the trial run banning them from the 23-kilometer thoroughfare.
Halt order keeps buses on Edsa
Bong Nebrija, The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Edsa traffic head, said that this is brought about by the preliminary injunction issued by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch (RTC) 223.
Supposedly, 15 companies volunteered to join the dry run. However, the preliminary injunction changed all that.
At least 10 bus lines were seen along Edsa, doing business as usual on Wednesday.
“Voluntary naman. Talagang mananaig po dito iyung negosyo, ” Nebrija said during a radio interview.
Nebrija also added that the dry run is disregarded or not followed at all.
“Mas marami pa ang hindi sumusunod [kaysa] sa sumusunod. Baka wala ngang sumusunod, ” he said.
Provincial bus bans to ease traffic
Alex Yague, president of the Provincial Bus Operators Association of the Philippines, said that the MMDA failed to prove that banning provincial buses from Edsa will ease traffic.
He also added it would be a violation of the writ of preliminary injunction if provincial buses participate in the dry run.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Memorandum Circular No. 2019-001 bars provincial buses from passing through Edsa and requires them to stop at endpoints. While the MMDA Regulation No. 19-002 prohibits the issuance of business permits or revokes those already issued to provincial terminals along Edsa.
Both are meant to ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila.
Hardships to commuters
The ban, according to AKO Bicol party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr, will cause hardships rather than relief to commuters. Thus, he filed an “urgent motion” before the dry run’s schedule on August 6.
“Most of the 95 percent of our commuters take the bus, that’s the cheapest mode of transportation in going to Manila. Tatamaan talaga yung 95 porsyento ng ating populasyon na mahihirap, na walang ibang masakyan kung ‘di yung mura–yun ang mga bus,”
The Quezon City RTC Branch 223 issued a halt order on July 31.
MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialagao said the traffic management agency has yet to receive a copy of the halt order so the trial run pushed through.
Source: ABS-CBN News