MANDALUYONG CITY, Philippines – The Metro Manila Council (MMC) has decided for another dry run of the high occupancy vehicle (HOV) scheme in EDSA.
The decision is to give more time for the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the local government units (LGU) to observe if the measure is effective or not.
The proposal was halted following a resolution filed by Senate President Tito Sotto and other senators opposing the HOV scheme.
The Council of Mayors is encouraging the senators and the congressmen to experience for themselves the impact of the scheme to traffic situations in Metro Manila and of other programs that the MMDA is implementing such as the transfer of locations of provincial buses, carpooling, the motorcycle lane, new infrastructure projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) among others.
“Kung kayo po tama ang gagawin niyo at sumusunod kayo sa batas trapiko hindi ho kayo matatakot sa mga traffic fines,” MMDA General Manager Jose Garcia said.
Garcia said they are open to suggestions and criticisms because such would help them improve the scheme. He asked for understanding from the public if the dry run has caused inconvenience as they are aiming at a long-term solution to Metro Manila’s worst traffic problem.
Meanwhile, the Council is contemplating on imposing higher fines of up to P10,000 on buses going beyond the yellow lane. Also, the group plans to regulate the number of buses the operators may use in a month to three to five units only.
Once the dry run kicks off, private cars with only a driver on board will be barred from EDSA from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Offenders will pay a fine of P1,000.
The MMDA said the dry run covers both south bound and north bound lane of EDSA from North Avenue in Quezon City to Magallanes in Makati City.
Meanwhile, Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista said the local governments of San Juan, Pasig, Mandaluyong, Makati, and Taguig are also studying the the impact of the scheme in their respective areas.
The results of the dry run from the five municipalities will be consolidated in a report which will be presented to the lawmakers and the executive department. – Cathy Maglalang / Marje Pelayo
MMDA willing to amend HOV scheme amid calls for suspension
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) targets to fully implement the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Policy along EDSA on August 23 amid mounting calls to suspend its implementation even from among lawmakers.
Buhay Partylist Representative Lito Atienza said, the MMDA should think of other ways to address the worsening traffic in the said major thoroughfare instead of implementing policies that would only burden the public more.
Some senators have earlier filed a resolution urging the agency to halt the policy’s enforcement, citing lack of public consultation and concerns on its efficacy.
The MMDA, in response, assures compliance if it receives an official order to suspend the scheme.
“Walang problema po. Susunod po kami kung ano po ang sinasabi sa batas. Sa amin po kung iyan ay dadalhin nila sa korte, siyempre sa stand namin kami ang tama. Sa stand nila, pwedeng sila ang tama. It’s not us to judge kung sino ang tama sa amin,” MMDA General Manager Jose Arturo Garcia.
Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Thursday also assured that the MMDA is open to amending the HOV traffic scheme, citing confirmation from MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim that feedback from the public on the new policy will be reviewed by the Metro Manila Council.
Go said he trusts that all 17 mayors in Metro Manila will be able to arrive at an acceptable decision on the HOV.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, meanwhile, said the Palace is appealing to the public to give the HOV policy a chance to see if it is effective in addressing heavy traffic on EDSA.
“Let’s give it a chance. Lahat naman po ini-explore natin para magkaroon ng solusyon sa problema ng traffic,” he said.
GRAB Philippines, meanwhile, plans to set a dialogue with the MMDA to clarify the policy’s provisions. – Joan Nano / Marje Pelayo
Senate wants stop of driver-only ban in EDSA
PASAY CITY, Philippines – The Senate leadership filed on Wednesday (August 15) a resolution seeking to stop the implementation of the driver-only ban on EDSA.
Authors of the resolution are urging the Metro Manila Council of Mayors and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to withdraw the policy citing lack of public consultation and due process.
Filed by Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto and Senate Majority Leader Miguel Zubiri, the resolution also cited that the new measure deprives thousands of motorists of their right to use one of the country’s major infrastructures.
The Senate leadership suggests that Council and the MMDA conduct further study on the scheme to justify its role in solving traffic problems in Metro Manila. – Nel Maribojoc / Marje Pelayo
MMDA kicks off week-long dry run of ‘driver-only ban’ in EDSA
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has begun Wednesday (August 15) its week-long dry run for the high occupancy vehicle (HOV) traffic scheme.
The proposed new policy aims at reducing the volume of vehicles, particularly private cars, along Epifanio de Los Santos Avenue (EDSA) during rush hours.
Under the policy, all private vehicles occupied by one person or a driver without passengers or companions will be banned from plying on EDSA from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., from Monday to Friday.
The new measure will also encourage private motorists to share a ride with others or the concept of carpooling.
Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Martin Delgra, however, clarified that what they meant of carpooling is sharing free ride among family members, friends, neighbors or officemates to minimize the number of vehicles along EDSA.
“Kapag carpooling iyan, strict carpooling. Hindi kayo nag-a-ambag ng pang-gasolina or pamasahe for that matter. Iyong sinasabi ninyong per ulo, hindi mangyayari iyan kapag talagang carpooling ito,” Delgra explained.
Based on MMDA’s survey of average daily traffic in 2017, about 60% to 70% of private vehicles that ply EDSA are single occupancy vehicles or occupied only by their drivers.
This translates to an average of 148,516 to 185,645 in actual units per day, from the average number of 367,738 vehicles traversing EDSA’s major artery daily.
This figure, according to MMDA, is the major cause of extremely heavy traffic along EDSA. – Joan Nano / Marje Pelayo