Stop this ‘anti-people’ experiment on Edsa traffic, Pangilinan tells MMDA
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Francis Pangilinan has asked the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to stop its experiments on the Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (Edsa) traffic flow that had aggravated the suffering of commuters.
This was after MMDA tried to prevent provincial buses from entering Metro Manila last Wednesday. Bus drivers were told instead to drop their passengers at various terminals at the outskirts of the capital region.
“How can one be productive when you waste your time in traffic? Stop experiments that only make people suffer more,” Pangilinan said in a statement on Thursday.
“Think of the commuters’ circumstances in the experiments to ease traffic jams. Commuters who make up 70% of road users use only 20% of the roads, but their space is further being limited? We ask not only for consideration, but also for the use of logic,” he added.
The ban on provincial buses was seen as a way to decongest Edsa, which cuts across at least eight cities in Metro Manila and links the North Luzon Expressway to the South Luzon Expressway.
According to a February 2018 study from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), traffic woes along Edsa had left the Philippines losing P3.5 billion worth of opportunities every day.
This was met with widespread criticism, with militant groups even saying it is a deliberate attempt to discount provincial buses and introduce point to point transportation schemes, which are mainly catered by coaches made in China.
However, MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialogo earlier said that the dry run, which pushed through despite a preliminary injunction from the Quezon City Regional Trial Court, was unsuccessful.
Aside from being anti-people, Pangilinan said that the families suffer from the daily traffic snarls. He also noted that they have filed Senate Bill 775 which seeks to ensure that commuters are entitled to a safe, reliable, and affordable public mode of transportation.
“Who suffer from ‘carmageddon’? Mothers and fathers who barely see their children. Children who are exhausted by the trip. Everyone who waste their time in traffic. Solutions must be related to those who suffer from this mess),” he said.
“Focus on the needs of the commuter instead of focusing on the needs of the few. Focus on how to increase efficiency in public transportation instead of offering band-aid solutions that are anti-commuters and anti-poor,” he added.
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