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Albay representative asks SC to stop EDSA provincial bus ban

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PHILSTAR/MICHAEL VARCAS

ALBAY 2ND District Rep. Clemente Joey S. Salceda asked the Supreme Court (SC) to halt the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) from implementing its regulation banning provincial buses along EDSA.

This is the second petition to be filed against MMDA Regulation No. 19-002, dated March 26 this year, which prohibits the issuance and revokes existing permits of public utility bus (PUB) terminals and operators along EDSA.

AKO Bicol Partylist, in a petition filed last April 29, sought to nullify the new policy, which is planned for full implementation by June.

In his 15-page petition, Mr. Salceda sought the issuance of a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction against the regulation, saying its implementation “will not resolve the traffic congestion in EDSA.”

Citing statistics from Land Transportation Office, Mr. Salceda noted that there are only 4,000 provincial buses that pass along EDSA compared to the 2.8 million cars in the National Capital Region. Only 1,500 going to Metro Manila are from the south while 2,500 are from the north. Of the north-bound buses, 236 are from Albay.

He also said that transferring the bus station to designated hubs north and south of the capital will aggravate the situation and cause “additional burden” to people from the provinces.

“There is no correlation between the original rooms of the affected PUBs and the congestion of traffic in EDSA since the traffic congestion in EDSA during office hours are caused by private vehicles and city public buses, not by affected PUBs,” he said.

The Albay representative also assailed the regulation saying it violates existing franchises of PUBs issued by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and lease agreements between the operators of the buses and terminal owners.

He said that most of the affected passengers are “poor people, if not, small time businessmen from the provinces carrying their goods to and from Metro Manila or travel to the big city for some other personal business,” he said. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas





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