Salceda urges SC to halt provincial bus ban on EDSA

Robie de Guzman   •   May 27, 2019   •   1514

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.

Mass transport highway, express bus lane: proposed to solve EDSA traffic

Maris Federez   •   September 16, 2019

A lawmaker in the Lower House has proposed to dedicate an express bus lane, while another suggested reserving certain hours for mass transportations only along EDSA to solve the perennial traffic in Metro Manila’s major thoroughfare.

According to the data of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the average vehicular volume on EDSA is more than 400,000 every day and it is expected to increase further by 15 to 20% these BER-months.

House Committee on Transportation chairman Edgar Sarmiento suggested dedicating the innermost lane of EDSA as an express bus lane for those who will ride the MRT.

Three lanes will be allocated to private vehicles, while the outer lane will be for passenger buses that will stop in designated loading and unloading areas only.

These buses will be allowed to queue in for pick up and drop off of Metro Manila-bound passengers at the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange and the Valenzuela Gateway Complex Terminal.

Sarmiento said this scheme will prevent bus drivers from over-speeding and from overstaying in loading and unloading areas and cause traffic congestion.

“We propose this to eradicate the kanya-kanya system of the buses wherein they compete with each other creating chaos through overtaking, overspeeding, and overstaying,” Sarmiento said.

Meanwhile, Caloocan representative Edgar Erice has proposed the dedication of mass transport highway which aimed at giving priorities to public commuters.

Under his proposal, private vehicles will be off-limit along EDSA on certain hours every day.

“Dapat yung limang lanes ng EDSA from 6 to 9am at 6 to 9pm dedicated lang sa mga public utility vehicles [The five lanes on EDSA shall be dedicated only to public utility vehicles from 6:00 to 9:00am and at 6:00 to 9:00pm],” he stated.

With the 6-to-9-scheme, private car owners will have the option to use alternative roads, leave the house earlier than usual, take the bus, or take EDSA only after 9 o’clock.

The MMDA said it welcomes the said proposals.

“Ito yung pro commuter talaga; para sa mga ordinaryo nating mamamayan na mas mapabilis yung byahe nila. Ngayon, pagdating sa private may mga alternatibo naman sabi nga ni Cong Erice [This is really pro-commuter; for the ordinary people to have faster travel experience. Now, when it comes to private (car owners), there are alternatives as what Cong. Erice said],” according to MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia.

These suggestions, as well as the others, will go thru the MMDA’s engineering team for further study and screening for the selection of the feasible solutions for EDSA traffic.

The selected suggestions will be submitted to the Metro Manila Council meeting in October. (from the report of Vincent Arboleda) /mbmf

LIST: Weekend road repairs, reblocking in Metro Manila

Robie de Guzman   •   September 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Several roads in Metro Manila will be closed to motorists starting Friday night to give way to the scheduled weekend road repairs and reblocking, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced.

In an advisory, the MMDA said repair works on the following roads will begin at 11 p.m. (Sept. 13) until 5 a.m. (Sept. 16):

SOUTHBOUND:

  • EDSA-Bansalangin to North Avenue (U-turn), 5th lane from sidewalk
  • EDSA-Magallanes-Baclaran Bus Stop to Magallanes-Alabang Bus Stop
  • C-5 Road near Market Market Mall
  • C-5 Road in front of Palar Village in Taguig City

EASTBOUND:

  • Quirino Highway-Salvia Street to before Belfast Road (outer lane)
  • Elliptical Road after Maharlika Street (8th lane from outer sidewalk)

WESTBOUND

  • General Luis Street-Rebisco Road to SB Road


NORTHBOUND:

  • Bonifacio Ave. near Selecta Drive (1st lane from sidewalk)
  • Batasan/ San Mateo Rd. in front of Petron (1st lane from center island)
  • EDSA Main Ave. to before P. Tuazon tunnel (1st lane from the sidewalk)
  • Katipunan Avenue/C-5 Road after CP Garcia St. (truck lane)

Affected motorists are advised to avoid the said areas and use alternate routes instead.

SC overturns decision to disqualify Camarines Norte gubernatorial bet

Marje Pelayo   •   September 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Voting 8-6, the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday (September 10) granted the petition of Camarines Norte gubernatorial candidate Edgardo Tallado who questioned his disqualification by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in the last May 19 elections.

Tallado was allowed to run after the SC issued a Status Quo Ante Order (SQAO) following Comelec’s decision to disqualify him from the race.

The SC decision, penned by Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin, stated that the Court En Banc overturned the Comelec’s decision to disqualify Tallado to run in the gubernatorial race.

The SC Public Information Office will issue a copy of the decision through its website once they receive the official copy from the Office of the Clerk of Court En Banc.

Concurring with Bersamin were Justices Diosdado Peralta, Alexander Gesmundo, Andres Reyes Jr., Jose Reyes Jr., Amy Lazaro-Javier, Henry Jean Paul Inting and Rodil Zalameda.

Dissenting were Justice Francis Jardeleza, Antonio Carpio, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Marvic Leonen, Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, and Rosmari Carandang.

Comelec had disqualified Tallado to run due to what the poll body says as questionable years of service as governor of Camarines Norte, pointing out that should they grant Tallado’s certificate of candidacy, it would have already been his 4th term as governor.

The law provides that gubernatorial post is only limited to three consecutive terms.

However, Tallado took his case to the Supreme Court questioning the decision of the Comelec, insisting that he is still eligible to run for the May 2019 polls as he was suspended from office in 2015 and was reinstated only in 2018.

Tallado won as the governor of Camarines Norte after garnering 149,002 votes against his rival Cathy Barcelona-Reyes who had 104,635 votes.

Comelec has yet to comment on the matter as it yet to receive a copy of the SC decision. — Marje Pelayo

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