MANILA - A lawmaker on Tuesday proposed that provincial buses should be allowed on EDSA during non-peak hours instead of banning them entirely.
Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte made the proposal during a Senate inquiry into the provincial bus ban.
"As a probinsyano, a simple solution while we have have this interim is why don’t we ban provincial buses and only allow them in non-peak hours such as 2 a.m. to 4 a.m.?" he said.
He said buses in Naga City that leave at 8 p.m. arrive in Metro Manila at 3 a.m. or 4 a.m.
"That would allow provincial buses to come in non-peak hours, that would partially solve the problem," he said.
Villafuerte also questioned the MMDA on why it would ban provincial buses while the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board would allow 14,000 new premium taxis and 2,000 new P2P buses to service passengers in the drop-off points at Valenzuela and Sta. Rosa Laguna.
"My stand is this ban, with all due respect, is anti-poor and kawawa ang taumbayan lalo na sa mga taga-probinsiya," he said.
"What’s the difference between a P2P bus and provincial bus? There’s no substantial difference between them."
A Quezon City court earlier made the same observation, saying that under the equal protection clause in the Constitution, two classes can be treated differently if a substantial distinction between the two exists.
Various groups have questioned the legality of the traffic scheme before the Supreme Court, claiming the MMDA does not have the authority to ban provincial buses along EDSA as the agency does not have legislative nor police powers.