THE SUPREME Court (SC) has ordered the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to comment on the petitions seeking to stop the implementation of the provincial bus ban along Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA).

The high court gave MMDA and other respondents to file their comments “within 10 days,” the SC Public Information Office said in a statement.

The SC has consolidated the three petitions filed separately by AKO Bicol Party-list, Albay 2nd District Rep. Clemente Joey S. Salceda, and Bayan-Muna Party-list against MMDA Regulation No. 19-002 dated March 26 this year.

The regulation revokes existing permits and prohibits the issuance of new ones to all terminals and operators of public utility vehicles along EDSA, as one of the measures aimed at easing traffic congestion along one of the capital’s main roads.

The regulation also requires all provincial buses to use only the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange and facilities located in Sta. Rosa Laguna and Valenzuela City.

In the first petition filed last April by AKO Bicol, it claimed that the regulation violated the right to due process due to lack of public consultation, and that the MMDA, along with the Metro Manila Council, “arbitrarily, whimsically and capriciously acted on a mere verbal directive” of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

Mr. Salceda, meanwhile, emphasized in his petition that the implementation of the regulation will not ease traffic in EDSA and will provide “additional burden” to people from the provinces due to the transferring of bus terminals to the north and south of the National Capital Region.

The third petition filed by Bayan Muna cited as well the lack of public consultation and that MMDA does not have police or legislative power.

The MMDA regulation has yet to be implemented following suspension of its dry run last month. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas