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MMDA suspends Aug. 23 implementation of driver-only ban on EDSA, dry run to continue

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Private cars starts to beef up at EDSA in Kamuning yesterday as vacationers return to Manila following a long holiday vacation. -- PHILIPPINE STAR_MICHAEL VARCAS

By Charmaine A. Tadalan

The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will put on hold the full implementation of the “driver-only” ban on EDSA on Aug. 23 in light of the Senate resolution calling for its suspension.

Hindi muna natin itutuloy yung HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lane implementation on August 23 pero tuloy-tuloy pa rin ‘yung dry run,” MMDA spokesperson Celine B. Pialago told BusinessWorld in a phone interview on Friday. (We won’t be pushing through with the HOV lane implementation on August 23, but the dry run will continue)

The MMDA on Wednesday, Aug. 15, started the week-long dry run of its new HOV lane policy, which prohibits private and public vehicles, except motorcycles, to traverse EDSA with just the driver on-board during rush hour from Monday to Friday.

Ms. Pialago explained the decision was made to discuss with the Metro Manila Council (MMC), MMDA’s policy-making authority, the resolution signed by the Senate leaders.

The MMDA and MMC is expected to convene “anytime next week or two weeks from now” to tackle whether to push through with the HOV scheme or not.

In response, Senator Grace S. Poe-Llamanzares, chair of the Senate committee on public services, welcomed the suspension of the traffic scheme.

“Time to go back to the drawing board to think hard what can be done to solve our traffic woes. Policies should always be practical, implementable and in line with public interest,” Ms. Poe-Llamanzares said in a statement, Friday.

“Probably, we don’t need new policies, just strict implementation of existing laws and regulations. Mag public consultation muna kayo (let’s have a public consultation first),” she also said.





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