MANILA - Senate on Tuesday rejected a proposal from a congressman to ban private vehicles on EDSA during rush hour to ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila's main highway.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice’s proposal was not a “well thought out."
“Where do you dump the thousand of buses that ply after 9 a.m. My original suggestion is still the best, no parking in the entire Metro Manila streets from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.” Sotto told reporters.
Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto called Erice’s idea “crazy,” and something that should not be taken seriously.
“Private car owners pay a lot of taxes - excise, value added tax, duties, road users tax on vehicles, and excise, VAT on petroleum- hundreds of billions a year,” Recto said.
EDSA should be a "mass transport highway" until the MRT, which runs through it, is rehabilitated, Erice said.
Some 300,000 private vehicles ply EDSA daily, almost 4 times more than the 80,000 buses there, said Erice, vice chairperson of the House committee on Metro Manila Development.
Home to some 13 million, there is nearly one vehicle registered per person. The resulting gridlock costs the city P3.5 billion daily in lost productivity, according to a 2017 Japanese government-funded study.