Bong Revilla calls out MMDA for ‘singling out’ provincial buses in EDSA ban
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Bong Revilla on Tuesday opposed the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s implementation of the controversial EDSA provincial bus ban.
During the Senate Committee on Public Services hearing into the MMDA’s said traffic solution, Revilla argued that banning provincial buses on EDSA would not resolve traffic.
He questioned why the MMDA is putting the blame on provincial buses.
“Hindi naman pala karamihan ang provincial buses kumapara sa iba, pero bakit ang mga ito ang pinanggigilan? Anong meron ang mga provincial buses kumpara sa ibang sasakyan?” Revilla asked.
(The number of provincial buses is not large compared to others, but why are they picking on it? What do provincial buses have compared to other vehicles?)
Revilla cited that there are only 8,000 provincial buses compared to the estimated 400,000 other vehicles that pass through EDSA.
Last year, Metro Manila mayors approved the proposal to ban provincial buses on EDSA during rush hour to ease traffic.
Early this year, the MMDA said it would enforce the bus ban in August and transfer the provincial buses to the Valenzuela Gateway Complex Terminal. The Valenzuela terminal said it is ready to accommodate the influx of passengers.
The MMDA said it decided to approve the provincial bus ban because the standard speed of vehicles traversing EDSA is 60 kilometer per hours. However, vehicles are currently only limited to 19 kph speed.
The proposal met several criticisms from several transport groups as well as bus operators prompting them to file a petition.
Presiding Judge Caridad Walse-Lutero of the Quezon City RTC Branch 223 then issued a writ of preliminary injunction stopping the provincial bus ban last July 31, saying that removing the buses on EDSA “has far-reaching effects.”
Meanwhile, some House representatives present during the Senate inquiry also opposed the provincial bus ban, citing that “it is a form of discrimination against citizens hailing from provinces.”
Revilla agreed with these lawmakers from Bicol.
“Kasi nga naman, kung pupunta ka ng Manila at galing ka ng Bicol o Tuguegarao isang sakay lang, bitibit mo ang bagahe mo. Doon sa proposal na bus ban—magiging dalawang sakay na, dagdag pamasahe na hassle pa at kawawa ang mga senior citizen,” Revilla said.
(Because if you will go to Manila from Bicol or Tuguegarao, you will only take one ride with your baggage. With the proposed provincial bus ban—you will have to take two rides, plus additional fare, and senior citizens will be affected.)
The senator, who hails from Cavite, said that the establishment of the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange, the country’s first landport, only worsened the traffic situation for Caviteños.
The Department of Transportation, however, said PITX is already permanent.
Aside from the provincial bus ban, the MMDA is currently implementing yellow lane policy where buses are only allowed to use two of the outermost lanes of EDSA. — Rosette Adel