Senate to resume hearing on provincial bus ban
MANILA, Philippines – The Senate committee on public services is set to resume its hearing on the proposed provincial bus ban along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (Edsa) in a move to ease the traffic situation on the busy highway.
The hearing is set to happen on Tuesday, September 10, at 10 a.m. and will be headed by committee chair Sen. Grace Poe.
Poe earlier said that the Senate committee seeks to review if the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has the traffic management powers to implement the said policy.
Further, the senator had said that giving the office expanded powers to improve situation in Mega Manila area is also under consideration.
“The traffic in the country is a situation that requires all hands on deck. We need all the help we can get,” Poe said in a statement.
“Araw-araw na nagtitiis ang ating mga kababayan sa kalsada. Huwag naman sanang dumating ang araw na mas maraming oras pa tayong nasa kalye kaysa sa trabaho o pamilya. ‘Pag umulan nga lang, minsan halos abutan na tayo ng umaga sa daan. Kulang na lang tumira tayo sa kalye,” she added.
The MMDA and DOTr were also asked to submit a transport master plan for their short-, medium- and long-term programs to ease the traffic situation.
Expected to attend the hearing are Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chair Danilo Lim and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board chair Martin Delgra III, as well as leaders of various transport groups and private operators.
Under the policy, the routes of provincial buses shall end at interim terminals either in Valenzuela City or Santa Rosa in Laguna province.
But during the last hearing on the matter held in August, Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian and Santa Rosa town Mayor Arlene Arcillas said that the interim terminals may not be ready yet for the influx of provincial buses.
“Still, I agreed to give it a try, and if it didn’t work, then we will recalibrate,” Gatchalian said.
“It’s better than doing nothing. It’s why the Metro cities agreed [to the Metro Manila Council Resolution No. 002 pushing for the bus ban]. We wanted to be part of the solution,” he added. /je
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