Sotto, Recto reject ‘crazy idea’ of banning private cars on Edsa
MANILA, Philippines—Two Senate leaders thumbed down on Tuesday the proposal to ban private cars on Edsa during rush hours, one even calling it a “crazy idea.”
The proposal was raised Monday by Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice, vice chair of the House committee on Metro Manila development.
“It’s not a well-thought out idea,” Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said in a text message.
“He says dagdagan ang buses during that time, then where do you dump the thousands of buses that ply after 9 a.m.?” the Senate president said.
Erice’s suggestion was aiming to prohibit on Edsa all private vehicles from 6 to 9 a.m. and from 6 to 9 p.m.
But Sotto believes that his original suggestion is still the best: No parking in the entire Metro Manila streets from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
“Then cars need not pass Edsa,” he pointed out.
Erice’s proposal did not also sit well with Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto.
“It’s a crazy idea. But people are free to suggest. I don’t take those seriously,” Recto said in another text message.
“Private car owners pay a lot of taxes. Excise, Vat (value added tax), duties, road users tax on vehicles and excise, vat on petroleum. Hundreds of billions a year,” he added.
Unlike the two leaders, Senator Joel Villanueva was open to Erice’s proposal.
Villanueva expressed hope though that the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority would come up with a list of options and their corresponding consequences.
“Meanwhile, why not act on the walkway through Edsa? I wonder what happened to the initial budget we gave them,” he said. /jpv
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