Operators shun 'voluntary' dry run of EDSA provincial bus ban

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 07 2019 08:27 AM

MANILA - Majority of provincial bus lines on Wednesday did not participate in the "voluntary" dry run of a policy banning them from EDSA, which a Quezon City court blocked last week, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said.

Fifteen bus companies last week said they will join the dry run, but may have had a change of heart after the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 223 issued a preliminary injunction against the ban, said MMDA EDSA traffic head Bong Nebrija.

From 4 to 6 a.m., at least 10 provincial bus lines continued plying the major thoroughfare infamous for its crippling traffic, he said.

"Voluntary naman. Talagang mananaig po dito iyung negosyo," Nebrija told DZMM.

(The ban is voluntary so business interests will really prevail.)

"Mas marami pa ang hindi sumusunod [kaysa] sa sumusunod. Baka wala ngang sumusunod," he added.

(There are more bus lines disregarding the dry run compared to those following it. Perhaps even none may be obeying it.)

The court blocked the ban after the MMDA failed to submit a study proving that it would ease traffic, said Alex Yague, president of the Provincial Bus Operators Association of the Philippines.

"Ang dry run na ito ay kasama na sa writ of preliminary injunction so hindi dapat kami sumama doon dahil magiging paglabag na ito," he said in a separate DZMM interview.

(This dry run is included in the writ of preliminary injunction so we should not participate because it will be a violation of the court order.)

The MMDA pushed through with the dry run because it has yet to receive a copy of the halt order, its spokesperson Celine Pialago earlier said.

Although "all" operators have agreed to participate, "it’s okay" if others will choose not to, she said Tuesday.