MMDA: Court order, optional participation diminished purpose of bus ban dry-run


Posted at Aug 07 2019 06:59 PM | Updated as of Aug 07 2019 07:44 PM

An MMDA traffic constable keeps an eye on buses plying EDSA on August 7, 2019. According to the MMDA, the agency was not able to fully implement a dry run of its plan to ban provincial buses along EDSA because of a court-issued halt order.Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA—The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority on Wednesday acknowledged that a dry run of its plan to ban provincial buses along EDSA was unsuccessful. 

According to MMDA spokesperson Asec. Celine Pialago, the agency was not able to fully implement the dry run because of a halt order.

"First, we received this preliminary injunction that stops us from doing any particular act. Technically speaking, we are prohibited from implementing the said policy," Pialago told ANC.

"Second, the dry run is voluntary. We cannot force all of the bus operators to participate because of this court order."

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Pialago added that the MMDA pushed through with the dry-run despite the court order to improve the policy.

"We want the operators to see what's with our interim terminal. We want our commuters to feel and we also want to improve the policy because the dry run will answer all our questions, if it's just being considered. So with this writ of preliminary injunction, we cannot do anything," she said.

Pialago said 31 provincial buses dropped off their passengers at the Santa Rosa interim terminal, while no provincial bus dropped off their passengers at the Valenzuela terminal.

There were also more than 100 city buses waiting for passengers in each of the interim terminals, Pialago added.

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On July 31, a Quezon City court granted the plea of the Nagkakaisang Samahan ng Nangangasiwa ng Panlalawigang Bus sa Pilipinas Inc. and 16 other bus operators not to implement the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Memorandum Circular No. 2019-001 and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Regulation No. 19-002.

The LTFRB order bars provincial buses from passing through EDSA and requires drivers to stop at designated endpoints, while the MMDA regulation prohibits the issuance of business permits or revokes those already issued to provincial-bus terminals along EDSA.

The move was meant to ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila, with both agencies claiming the orders were an exercise of police power for public welfare.