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MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia / PNA

MMDA blames court injunction for confusion on provincial bus ban

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The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said those who initially volunteered to join the provincial bus ban’s dry run on August 7 may still participate.

If this would this cause more confusion, MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said it would be the fault of the injunction released by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 223.

“If ever magkaroon ng confusion, it was not our fault; this was well-planned ilang araw tayong nagmeeting nyan. I think it’s the injunction, kasi kung wala ‘tong papel na ‘to, tuloy tayo bukas nang maayos,” Garcia said in a press briefing at the MMDA headquarters in Makati.

The Court earlier issued a preliminary injunction against a memorandum circular issued by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) that amends provincial bus routes and prohibits provincial buses from using Edsa.

The LTFRB memo served as the basis for MMDA in implementing the provincial bus ban.

Following the release of the injunction, Garcia said that they have received messages from bus operators asking if the dry run would proceed.

“Actually there are some calls na asking us, from the operators, ‘sir, tuloy ba ang dry run?’ Sabi ko I don’t want to say yes pero kung gusto nyo gawin nyo. Hilaw. Hilaw talaga,” Garcia said.

“I cannot make a decision because of the injunction. Di ko kasalanan. Naglabas ng injuction ang Korte alangan namang suwayin ko baka bukas nakakulong na ako. Pero kung gusto natin subukan ang policy, magboluntaryo tayo may magagawa ba ako?” he added.

Garcia said the dry run of the provincial bus ban along Edsa would push through but only for bus operations who would volunteer to join.

“If you’re going to ask me if we will push through with the dry run, ang stand lang natin, ‘yung pinanghahawakan natin dito, last week before ko ma-release itong injunction, nagkaroon ng pagpupulong ang operators. Unanimously, nag-agree sila na magd-dry run tayo. Meaning voluntarily nagsalita sila na they will support the dry run para makita kung mayroong pagkukulang sa ating gagawing banning ng provincial bus terminal,” Garcia said.

Garcia assured, however, that no penalties would be imposed against bus operators who would not be joining the dry run.

But Garcia added that he is holding onto the words of bus operators who pledged their participation in the dry run.

“If ever hilaw [ang dry run] kasi nga papaano kung may hindi sumunod, may sumunod. Kaya nga sila nagdemanda kasi ayaw nila nyan e pero kung may gustong sumubok, definitely sabi ko nga ang dry run will only be successul kung ang lahat ay sasali,” he said.

“Ngayon nagkagulo, I think it’s not our fault, naglabas ng injuction e. Di ko kasalanan na maglabas ng injuction. Ang sakin lang, tomorrow another business work, tomorrow is another work day for us. If ever may gustong testing-in, nakabukas ang mga interim [terminals] na yan. Nandyan na yan. Anyone can pass, anoyone can stop if they want to try. Pero hindi ko sila pinipilit na huminto dyan,” Garcia said.

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