MANILA, Philippines – Albay Second District Representative Joey Salceda on Monday urged the Supreme Court (SC) to halt a local policy banning provincial buses and terminals on Edsa, which is set to take effect in June.
Salceda filed his petition, asking the high court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the plan of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to enforce its Regulation No. 19-002, series of 2019 which seeks to prohibit all provincial buses from loading and unloading passengers along Edsa.
Under the resolution, local governments are urged to revoke or prohibit the issuance of business permits to all terminals and operators of public utility buses and vehicles on Edsa.
When this policy takes effect in June, provincial buses will be required to drop off passengers at government-constructed terminals like those in Parañaque, Valenzuela City and Sta. Rosa, Laguna, where they could transfer to city vehicles.
The MMDA earlier said the impending policy is one of the best alternatives to decongest Metro Manila roads.
READ: MMDA: EDSA bus ban one of the best options in decongesting Metro Manila
But Salceda argued in his petition that the policy will not solve traffic congestion on one of the country’s busiest roads. He said only around 3,300 provincial buses use Edsa on a daily basis, citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.
He further stated that the MMDA overstepped its authority and violated the franchises of affected buses as granted by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, as well as the lease agreements between bus operators and terminal owners.
Salceda added that the regulation is “oppressive and unfair” to the public as the new routes will only add burden to commuters.
This is the second petition filed before the SC, seeking to stop the MMDA’s bus ban on Edsa.
In April, the AKO-Bicol party-list also asked the high court for a TRO on the said policy, arguing that the MMDA and the Metro Manila Council have no authority to implement the ban as they were not authorized to enact ordinances or approve resolutions.
The group added that these are acts of police power that only individual local government units can exercise.