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Senate Leaders Reject Private Vehicle Ban on EDSA

Some senators have rejected the proposal to ban private vehicles on EDSA during rush hours to address the traffic problem in the metropolis.

The proposal came from Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice, who suggested a private car ban from 6 AM to 9 AM and 6 PM to 9 PM on EDSA to make room for buses and other public utility vehicles.

Senate President Vicente Sotto said the idea is not “well-thought-of.”

“He (Erice) says dagdagan ang buses (to add buses) during that time, then where do you dump the thousands of buses that ply after 9 AM,” Sotto said.

Sotto said his original suggestion is still the “best,” which is to declare all Metro Manila streets as “no parking” zones from 5 AM to 10 PM so that private vehicles could take alternative routes instead of the metropolis’ main thoroughfare.

“Then cars need not pass EDSA,” he added.

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, meanwhile, said banning private cars is a “crazy idea.”

“But people are free to suggest. I don’t take those seriously. Private car owners pay a lot of taxes. Excise, VAY, duties, road users’ tax on vehicles and excise and vat on petroleum. Hundreds of billions a year,” Recto said.

Senator Joel Villanueva said while he is open to such proposal, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) should come up with a list of options and their corresponding consequences to solve the traffic crisis.

Villanueva also noted that the MMDA should also start establishing more elevated walkways to unclog EDSA, considering that there is already an initial budget provided for the project.

EDSA High Occupancy Vehicle
From Wikimedia Commons
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