Estrada tweaks rule on buses



NOT IN ERAP’S BACKYARD Buses barred from entering Manila are forced to make a U-turn at Welcome rotunda and head back to Quezon City. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada on Friday clarified that provincial and city buses in general are still allowed to enter the city and that the “ban” imposed earlier this week only covers colorum buses or those without franchises.

“I want to clear it up, we are banning only colorum buses. Those with franchises are allowed but they will just be regulated,” Estrada said. “They cannot just load or unload (passengers) anywhere but only at designated areas or bus stops.”

The 76-year-old mayor and former President did some explaining after the five-day-old measure drew protests from bus operators and after the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board said a local ordinance could not supersede the franchises the agency had granted them.

Until Estrada made that point, Vice Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso had been telling the media that the ban was based on a July 16 council resolution barring the entry of buses “without existing terminals within the city.”

In an interview Friday, Domagoso said: “President-Mayor Erap is right from the very beginning. Provincial and city buses are still allowed inside as long as they’re going to follow our rules and regulation, which is, they must have a terminal. In the absence of a terminal you cannot go inside the city.”

“Saulog,  Dangwa,  Philippine Rabbit, these are provincial buses. Pandacan Cooperative, city bus. They are allowed because they have terminals. They can go inside at any time as long as they have terminals,” Domagoso said.

“What is prohibited? Definitely the colorum buses because they have no business (being on the road) to begin with,” he added.

But when the Inquirer sought another clarification from Estrada, he said yes when asked if buses with franchises would be allowed even if they don’t have terminals in Manila.

“It’s embarrassing that we cannot put order into our affairs. Let us show that we know how to obey the law,” he said, citing Hong Kong and Singapore for their “discipline.”

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