Provincial Buses Continue to Ply EDSA Despite Voluntary Ban
Majority of provincial buses continued to ply Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) despite the voluntary provincial bus ban on the major thoroughfare on Wednesday, an official of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said.
MMDA Edsa Special Traffic and Transport Zone head Edison ‘Bong‘ Nebrija said in a radio interview over DZMM that he and his personnel counted and tagged provincial buses that participated in the dry run and found that around 10 provincial bus operators still pass along EDSA.
“Mas marami pa ‘yung mga hindi sumusunod sa sumusunod. Baka wala pang sumusunod (More seem to be ignoring the voluntary bus ban compared to those who are complying. Maybe none are complying),” Nebrija said.
This, following MMDA General Manager Jose Arturo ‘Jojo’ Garcia‘s recent statement saying he is confident that around 15 bus operators he spoke with the previous week will honor their agreement for a voluntary dry run of the provincial bus ban.
“Kausap ko siguro mga (I probably spoke with) 15. More or less, I don’t know the numbers. One more or less. ‘Yung 14 nag-yes, ‘yung isa magpapaalam sa boss niya (14 said yes, one will ask permission from his boss),” Garcia said.
On whether there were city buses ready to take passengers dropped off by provincial buses in interim terminals outside Metro Manila, Nebrija said they have instructed their personnel in said terminals to let provincial buses serve as point-to-point (P2P) buses and take passengers to Metro Manila if necessary.
“Kapag walang sumalong (If there are no) city bus, the provincial bus itself could be a P2P,” Nebrija said.
In a separate radio interview, Alex Yague, president of the Provincial Bus Operators Association of the Philippines, said majority of provincial bus operators failed to honor the voluntary bus ban to avoid violating a preliminary injunction issued by a Quezon City Regional Trial Court.
“Ang dry run na ito ay kasama na sa writ of preliminary injunction so hindi dapat kami sumama doon dahil magiging paglabag na ito (This dry run is included in the writ of preliminary injunction so we shouldn’t join as it would be a violation),” Yague said.
A writ of preliminary injunction was previously issued against a provincial bus ban in Edsa through a decision dated July 31, 2019, released by Quezon City Regional Trial Court (Branch) 223 Judge Caridad Walse-Lutero.
The injunction stopped the MMDA from implementing Regulation 19-002 which prohibits the issuance of permits or revokes those already issued to provincial bus terminals in Edsa and the LTFRB’s MC 2019-001 which prohibits provincial buses from Edsa and designates their endpoints in interim terminals.