By Chloe Mari A. Hufana

THE METROPOLITAN Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Monday said it would extend the grace period given to light vehicles for one more week, during which drivers that pass through main roads would not be issued tickets.

MMDA Acting Chairman Romando S. Artes told a virtual news briefing the agency would still not issue violation tickets to erring vehicles but will continue apprehending them.

The agency would start issuing tickets and impounding unregistered vehicles starting Monday, May 27, he added.

The one-month grace period ordered by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. expired on May 18.

Mr. Artes said they would continue to inform motorists about the ban. He added that the number of apprehended drivers in the past month had decreased.

He said MMDA officers had caught minors driving light vehicles.

Under the Metro Manila Council-approved Regulation No. 24-002, e-bikes, e-trikes, tricycles, pedicabs, push carts and so-called kuligligs are banned from using national, circumferential and radial roads in Metro Manila.

Violators face a fine of P2,500, their license may get confiscated, and their vehicles impounded.

MMDA issued tickets to 290 violators and impounded 69 vehicles from April 17 until April 18, before the President ordered the grace period.

Mr. Artes said the erring drivers did not pay any fine and all impounded vehicles had been released.

The agency is banning light vehicles on major roads after recording 2,829 accidents in 2022 involving bikes, e-bikes and pedicabs.

The ban is being enforced on 19 highways in the capital region.

Meanwhile, the agency said it had not received a request from the Department of Transportation (DoTr) and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) regarding the apprehension of unconsolidated jeepneys.

Mr. Artes said there are no guidelines yet from the DoTr and LTFRB on flagging down unconsolidated public utility vehicles (PUVs).

The DoTr and LTFRB on May 15 said they would start flagging down PUVs that failed to join the consolidation as part of the government’s jeepney modernization plan.

LTFRB Chairman Teofilo E. Guadiz III said last week a driver of an unconsolidated vehicle could face a fine of P10,000 and his jeepney could be impounded for a month.

The driver may also face a one-year suspension, while those with impounded vehicles will be fined as much as P50,000.

About 1,900 PUVs did not join the modernization program, according to Mr. Guadiz.

The LTFRB requires consolidated PUVs to put franchise documents on their dashboard or windshield to make it easier for authorities to distinguish franchised vehicles.

Meanwhile, the MMDA said it is intensifying efforts against flooding amid rains brought by La Niña.

These include garbage collection, cleaning drainages, installing trash traps and upgrading and installing pumping stations.

Mr. Artes said they have cleaned 199,571 linear meters of drainage. In 2023, it cleaned 525,000 linear meters of drainage.

He added that there are 71 pumping stations around Metro Mania, 36 of which are being upgraded by the Department of Public Works and Highways through a P600-million funding from the World Bank.

Mr. Artes said the MMDA is working with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for a potential catchment area near Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

Projects will be “future-proofed” to ensure these can accommodate 30 years’ worth of water, he said. The MMDA will conduct a clean-up with the DPWH next week.