MANILA - Malacañang on Tuesday appealed to the public to "be patient" and let the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) try to solve the traffic problem along EDSA.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the remark after the MMDA drew flak for strictly enforcing the yellow-lane policy in conjunction with the dry run of its provincial bus ban last week, leaving many passengers stuck in traffic for hours.
"It’s useless discussing these things eh, meron na nga silang nirerekomenda tapos di pa nga nagagawa eto na tayo, kini-criticize na. Hintayin muna natin. Be patient. Lahat tayo naman apektado," Panelo told reporters.
(It’s useless discussing these things when they already have a recommendation, which they have yet to execute but were already criticized. Let's wait. Be patient. We're all affected.)
"Pagbigyan na muna natin ang MMDA. Walang may gustong maabala sa EDSA. Lahat tayo naaabala. In fact, we’re suffering by so much millions, billions pa nga (even) given by the time lost," he added, referring to a 2017 study that said the Philippines loses P3.5 billion a day due to traffic congestion in Metro Manila.
(Let's give MMDA a chance. No one wants to be inconvenienced in EDSA. All of us are affected.)
A Quezon City court earlier issued a preliminary injunction against the provincial bus ban while various groups have questioned its legality before the Supreme Court.
The groups claimed the MMDA does not have the authority to ban provincial buses along EDSA as the agency does not have legislative nor police powers.
Sen. Francis Tolentino has filed a measure seeking to grant President Rodrigo Duterte emergency powers to address traffic congestion in the country.
Panelo added that government is open to suggestions from the public on how to alleviate the traffic problem on EDSA.