Only mayors can scrap EDSA 'singles' ban: MMDA

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 16 2018 08:15 AM | Updated as of Aug 16 2018 08:26 AM

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MANILA - A council of all mayors in Metro Manila has the final say on whether or not the ban on single-occupancy vehicles in EDSA would be scrapped amid backlash from commuters and the Senate, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said Thursday. 

A Senate resolution on Wednesday urged the MMDA to halt the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) scheme that bans driver-only vehicles on EDSA during rush hours. 

The HOV policy, however, was also implemented through a resolution by the Metro Manila Council composed of all mayors in the region, and can only be revoked through a similar document, said MMDA general manager Jojo Garcia. 

"Ginagalang po namin ang resolusyon ng Senado, pero we need to convene also the Metro Manila Council dahil ito po'y isang resolusyon din ng council," he told radio DZMM. 

(We respect the Senate's resolution, but we need to convene also the Metro Manila Council because the ban was also a resolution of the body.)

The HOV scheme prohibits driver-only vehicles from traversing EDSA during rush hour or from 7 to 10 a.m. and from 6 to 9 p.m. on weekdays.

The ban eased traffic along the major thoroughfare during the start of its week-long dry run on Wednesday, claimed Garcia. 

"Iyung nangyari po kahapon, nandoon naman po iyung mga cameraman, mga media outfit, kita naman sa CCTV na medyo lumuwag talaga ang EDSA noong umaga po," he said. 

(During the incident yesterday, cameramen and various media outfits were there. It can also be seen in CCTV clips that EDSA traffic improved in the morning.) 

Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista also shared that he spent only 30 minutes on EDSA from Makati to Quezon City because of the policy, added the MMDA official. 

The driver-only ban will be fully implemented on August 23 if its dry run succeeds, the MMDA earlier said.