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Lawmaker to MMDA: Defer Edsa bus ban

Lawmaker to MMDA: Defer Edsa bus ban

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A lawmaker from Bicol region is again urging the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority to defer its plan to ban provincial buses from Edsa, pointing out that the Supreme Court has yet to render a decision on the issue.

“Pending final action by the High Tribunal on the various petitions seeking a halt to this highly controversial plan, it would do well for the MMDA to hold off on this Edsa ban and, in the meantime, study alternative measures to decongest traffic along Edsa and other major roads across the national capital,” said Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte.

Villafuerte said the ban was detrimental to the commuters and small entrepreneurs who would spend more on fares once provincial buses were taken out of Metro Manila’s main highway.

He said he was renewing his call for the MMDA to suspend or drop its plan after the Supreme Court consolidated all pending petitions against the ban and directed the agency to respond to the petitioners.

Apart from banning provincial buses from Edsa, the MMDA order will also require the buses to use only the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange and similar common terminals located in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, and Valenzuela City.

“Transferring from a provincial bus at terminals set by the MMDA to another public utility vehicle (PUV) would prove too cumbersome, costly and time-consuming for passengers who usually carry with them heavy pieces of luggage when traveling to Metro Manila and back to their provinces,” Villafuerte said.

“I support the petition for review and prohibition filed by my fellow Bicolano, Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, before the Supreme Court that seeks to stop the implementation of the provincial bus ban on EDSA,” he said.

Villafuerte noted that the MMDA was standing pat on its decision to ban provincial buses and close 46 bus terminals along Edsa despite appeals and judicial petitions from various groups before the Supreme Court to nullify what he called the agency’s “anti-poor and anti-small business” policy.

He said small businesses that rely on provincial buses to transport their goods to Metro Manila will suffer and be forced to find more expensive options.

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