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Proposed ban on private cars on Edsa a ‘crazy idea’

Photo by NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, Philippines — Two Senate leaders on Tuesday burst Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice’s bubble, with one describing as “a crazy idea” his proposal to ban private cars on Edsa during peak hours.

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto pointed out that owners of private vehicles were paying various taxes amounting to hundreds of billions to use public roads.

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“It’s a crazy idea. But people are free to suggest. I don’t take those seriously,” Recto said in a text message to reporters.

Not well thought out

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Senate President Vicente Sotto III also doused cold water on the proposal, which Erice floated during Monday’s House hearing on the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s budget for 2020.

“It’s not a (well-thought-out) idea,” Sotto said bluntly.

“He says (the number of) buses will increase during that time. Then where do you dump the thousand of buses that ply (Edsa) after 9 a.m.?” he said.

Erice suggested that Edsa be converted into a “mass transport highway” open only to buses and other public utility vehicles (PUVs) at peak hours.

Some 300,000 private cars use the major thoroughfare every day, compared with only about 8,000 buses, he said.

Commuter groups said Erice’s proposal could work depending on certain conditions.

Toix Cerna of Komyut expressed support for it, but stressed that it must be anchored on similar efforts from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board  to increase and regulate PUVs on the road.

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TAGS: ban on private vehicles, Edgar Erice, Edsa traffic, Ralph Recto, Vicente Sotto III
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