Individuals, groups and organizations opposing the controversial EDSA Provincial Bus Ban earned the support of Sen. Bong Revilla after the veteran legislator said that the move will not resolve grueling traffic affecting hundreds of thousands of passengers.
The hearing, led by the Senate Committee on Public Services, was attended by DOTr Used. Mark de Leon, MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim, LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra, LTO Chief Asec. Edgar Galvantee, Task Force EDSA Emmanuel Tabuena and PNP-HPG Legal Darwin Paz.
Also present during the hearing were representatives from public and private sectors, local officials, major transport groups, commuters associations and transport economists.
Based on a data by MMDA, the standard speed of vehicles traversing EDSA is 60 kph, but at present, vehicles are limited to 19 kph which led to their decision to implement a provincial bus ban.
MMDA was scheduled to conduct a dry-run for the bus ban but it was suspended after the Quezon City RTC issues a temporary restraining order (TRO) on July 31 which caused massive traffic jam along EDSA.
Revilla also grilled MMDA and LTFRB today about their response to QC-RTC 223 which released a preliminary injunction regarding the bus ban. Other Lower House representatives also pointed out that the bus ban is a form of discrimination towards citizens hailing from provinces.
“Kasi nga naman, kung pupunta ka ng Manila at galing ka ng Bicol o Tuguegarao isang sakay lang, bitibit mo ang bagahe mo. Doon sa proposal na bus ban–magiging dalawang sakay na, dagdag pamasahe na hassle pa at kawawa ang mga senior citizen” giit ni Revilla.
Revilla further added that the establishment of PITX has worsened the traffic situation for Cavitenos who travel to and from Manila everyday.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in their study revealed that excessive car volume is the main cause of the “carmageddon” in EDSA, comprising 72 percent of all vehicles using the highway. They also added that the local economy loses more than P 3.5 billion everyday due to traffic.
Revilla also questioned MMDA on why they are passing the blame on provincial buses when in fact, only 8,000 out of the estimated 400,000 vehicles pass through EDSA.
“Hindi naman pala karamihan ang provincial buses kumapara sa iba, pero bakit ang mga ito ang pinanggigilan anong meron ang mga provincial buses kumpara sa ibang sasakyan,” tanong ni Revilla.
Revilla also emphasize the need for further study to come up with a win-win situation that can solve EDSA traffic instead of blaming provincial buses. SENATE.GOV.PH