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MMDA stands by Edsa bus ban despite TRO bid

Policy still one of the best alternatives to decongest Metro, says traffic chief

OFF-LIMITS With the closure of their terminals on Edsa, provincial buses will no longer be allowed to enter the metropolis starting in June. —NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said on Tuesday it was standing by the “wisdom” of its resolution shutting down provincial bus terminals on Edsa despite a challenge being filed in court.

Bong Nebrija, MMDA traffic chief, said in an interview that the petition for a temporary restraining order filed on Monday by AKO Bicol partylist group in the Supreme Court was “part of the democractic process.”

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He stressed that the resolution remained “one of the best alternatives” to decongest the metropolis.

“What alternatives do you have for us here in Metro Manila?” Nebrija asked. “It’s easy to kill a policy. But if we just keep on opposing [every policy], it’s going to be difficult [for us] to keep doing our job.”

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MMDA Resolution No. 19-2, which will take effect in June, urges local governments to revoke or stop the issuance of business permits to provincial bus terminals on Edsa.

As a result, provincial buses will begin and end their trips at integrated terminals in Santa Rosa, Laguna for those coming from the south; Valenzuela City, for those from the north;  and Parañaque City, for those coming from Cavite province. It is expected to ease traffic flow on the congested road.

In its petition, AKO Bicol claimed the resolution was void from the start because it was an exercise of police power the MMDA did not possess.

“We know we have no police power. That’s why the resolution only urges local government units to close down the terminals in their area,” Nebrija said.

He refuted AKO Bicol’s claim that the measure ran contrary to the Public Service Act by removing bus operators’ terminals—a requirement for maintaining their franchise.

If implemented, the resolution would affect some 47 provincial bus terminals on Edsa.

“We never said that we would be abolishing their terminals. We always maintained that we needed to move them. We are only transferring them,” Nebrija said.

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TAGS: Ako Bicol, EDSA provincial bus ban, MMDA, Supreme Court, TRO
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