MMDA: Edsa bus ban one of the best options in decongesting Metro Manila

Robie de Guzman   •   May 1, 2019   •   2763

MMDA personnel accost provincial buses traversing Edsa. (Photo courtesy of MMDA)

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said on Tuesday (April 30) that the impending implementation of the provincial bus ban on Edsa remains as one of the best alternatives to decongest Metro Manila roads.

MMDA traffic chief Bong Nebrija said in an interview that it is standing by its resolution of shutting down provincial bus terminals on Edsa despite a petition seeking for a temporary restraining order.

The petition was filed on Monday by AKO Bicol Party-list before the Supreme Court.

Nebrija added that opposing a policy before its implementation will only hinder the agency from doing its job.

Under MMDA Resolution No. 19-002, local governments are urged to revoke or prohibit the issuance of business permits to all terminals and operators of public utility buses and vehicles along 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. 

In its 44-page petition, AKO Bicol argued that the MMDA and the Metro Manila Council have no authority to implement the ban as they were not authorized under the law to enact ordinances or approve resolutions. The group added that these are acts of police power that only individual local government units can exercise.

The group also said the measure was contrary to the Public Service Act which requires bus operators to maintain their own terminals as a requirement for the franchise, and that the move encroaches upon the authority of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to issue, amend and revoke certificates of public convenience to public utility vehicles.

But Nebrija stressed, the MMDA will only transfer and not abolish the provincial bus terminals on Edsa. He also added that the agency knows it has no police power that is why the resolution only urges local governments to shut down the terminals in their area.

If the policy is implemented next month, it would affect some 47 provincial bus terminals on Edsa. – Robie de Guzman

Duterte extends GCQ anew in Metro Manila until August 15

Marje Pelayo   •   July 31, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Friday (July 31) that he is again extending the implementation of  general community quarantine(GCQ) in Metro Manila starting August 1 to 15.

Aside from the National Capital Region, the following areas are also placed under GCQ until August 15:

  • Bulacan
  • Batangas
  • Cavite
  • Laguna
  • Rizal
  • Cebu Province
  • Lapu-Lapu City
  • Mandaue City
  • Talisay City
  • Minglanilla
  • Consolacion
  • Zamboanga City

Meanwhile, the rest of the country are placed under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

MMDA denies reports on Metro Manila reverting to MECQ

Marje Pelayo   •   July 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Danny Lim has denied reports that local chief executives in the National Capital Region (NCR) have suggested to revert Metro Manila to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) status.

In an interview, Lim denounced the reports as fake news saying that the Metro Manila Council of Mayors actually suggested extending the general community quarantine in NCR starting August 1. 

President Rodrigo Duterte, meanwhile, is expected to announce the new quarantine measures on July 31 that will be implemented across the country. –MNP (with reports from Joan Nano)

Duterte to announce new quarantine status before August 1 – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   July 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – New community quarantine classifications that would take effect in Metro Manila and other parts of the country in August will be announced by President Rodrigo Duterte before Friday, Malacañang said.

In a televised briefing on Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) is set to meet this week to discuss data on the case doubling rate of the coronavirus disease as well as the critical care utilization in the country which will be submitted by the Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday.

Roque said the IATF will submit its recommendations for the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte once appeals by the local government units on the quarantine restrictions have been finalized.

Metro Manila is currently under general community quarantine (GCQ) as well as Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal, Lapu Lapu City, Mandaue City, Ormoc City, Southern Leyte, Talisay, Minglanilla, and Consolacion in Cebu Province, Zamboanga City, Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, and Basilan in Mindanao.

Cebu City is under enhanced community quarantine while the rest of the country are placed under the more relaxed modified GCQ with strict local action.

Roque also said that “major changes” may be implemented in the government’s response against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), adding that these changes will focus more on the policies to contain the public health crisis.

He said these changes may include massive testing, “invigorated” tracing, and creation of more quarantine facilities.

As of July 28, the Philippines has recorded a total of 83,673 coronavirus infections, 55,109 of which are active cases.

The DOH said 1,678 additional cases were reported based on the total tests done by 81 of the 91 operational laboratories.

The department likewise reported 173 new recoveries, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 26,617. The death toll also increased to 1,947 with four new fatalities. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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