MMDA: Marked gov’t vehicles prohibited from Edsa busway starting Monday
MANILA, Philippines — Starting Monday, “clearly marked government vehicles” are barred from plying the Edsa busway, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced on Thursday.
“Hindi na po pwede ang clearly marked government vehicles sa bus carousel. Starting Monday, enforce na po natin na bawal na din po ang clearly marked government vehicles,” MMDA Chairman Romando Artes said in a press briefing.
(Marked government vehicles cannot pass through the bus carousel. These vehicles will be barred from passing through the lane starting Monday.)
Under existing rules, the MMDA said the bus carousel lane is exclusive for public utility buses, ambulances, and marked government vehicles responding to emergencies.
Citing the new memorandum released by the Department of Transportation, Artes said the use of the bus carousel will be limited to authorized passenger buses, emergency vehicles, and cars used to construct the lane, as well as vehicles of top-ranking government officials such as the President, Vice President, Senate President, House Speaker, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Not included in the definitive list are vehicles of Cabinet officials, senators, and congressmen bearing the protocol plates 6, 7, and 8.
The changes came after MMDA Task Force Special Operations Unit Head Col. Bong Nebrija mistakenly reported that Senator Bong Revilla illegally used the special bus lane along Edsa.
Nebrija apologized to the senator, who later accepted his apology but called for the MMDA official’s resignation.
Amid the busway fiasco, Artes suspended Nebrija, citing his mistakes as the primary reason and not due to political pressure.
Among the mistakes that Artes mentioned were announcing the names of Revilla and former Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Christopher Co before the media or violating the Data Privacy Act, disseminating fake news involving the officials, and letting the vehicles pass through.