Salceda urges SC to halt provincial bus ban on EDSA
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Monday, May 27th, 2019
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.
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.
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Tuesday, July 16th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday granted the request of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for more time to talk with Zambales and Palawan fishermen who were involved in a petition for the West Philippine Sea.
SC Public Information chief Brian Keith Hosaka said the high court has decided to grant the IBP’s motion for extension of time to confer with clients to comply with SC’s order to move in the premises in the Writ of Kalikasan suit.
“Supreme Court En Banc has granted the ‘motion for extension of time to confer with clients and obtain special authority’ filed by the IBP on behalf of the petitioners in the case of Abogado et al. vs DENR et al. GR No. 246209 last July 12, 2019,” Hosaka said.
A “move in the premises” resolution means that the parties involved are obliged to inform the Court of pertinent developments to the case which may be of help to the Court in its immediate disposition.
The IBP earlier asked the SC to give them time to confer with the fishermen in Zambales and in Palawan so “they can more appropriately act on the developments in the case” after the government claimed fishermen involved in the case have disowned the petition.
Solicitor General Jose Calida earlier said 19 of the fishermen who were named as petitioners backed out from the case, saying they had no knowledge of the Writ of Kalikasan suit seeking for the protection of the West Philippine Sea. Of the total 37 petitioners, 13 said they did not sign their affidavits while 24 signed but presented no identification.
A Writ of Kalikasan is a legal remedy available to persons or groups whose right to a balanced and healthy ecology is threatened or violated.
The IBP was given until July 19 (Friday) to talk with their clients and comply with the SC’s order.
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Friday, July 12th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is set to hold an earthquake drill, dubbed as Metro Manila Shake Drill, on July 27.
MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said this year’s shake drill will start as early as four in the morning, to be signaled by the sounding of an alarm.
“For this year, it will be done on a weekend and at almost the break of dawn when most Metro Manila residents are at home and asleep,” he said.
“We are doing this to prepare everyone to minimize damage and loss of life,” he added.
Garcia said they intentionally scheduled the drill very early in the morning so the public can participate.
Shake drills in the past years were done during daytime and even on rush hours, with last year leveling up to an unannounced, rush hour daytime drill.
“We want to test the response capabilities and preparedness of LGUs and the private sector as earthquake may occur anytime,” Garcia said.
The MMDA official added that during the shake drill, they will mobilize agency employees, Metro local government units and other groups to demonstrate their contingency plans in case strong earthquake hits the metropolis.
MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim, also the head of the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MMDRRMC), will visit city halls and designated emergency operation centers in the metro on the day of the drill.
Different emergency scenarios will also be staged at city hall offices, establishments, communities, businesses, and households.
“We expect more active and full participation of the private sector as government’s partner in disaster and emergency preparedness and response for Metro Manila,” said Garcia.
During the drill, the agency will also practice the deployment of personnel to designated emergency operation centers located at the four quadrants in Metro Manila.
The MMDA said the northern quadrant will use the Veterans Memorial Medical Center Golf Course as evacuation camp while the western quadrant will use the Intramuros Golf Course.
The eastern quadrant will use the LRT-2 Santolan Depot while the southern quadrant will use the Villamor Golf Course.
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