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