Dry run of EDSA driver-only ban to continue without penalties

Patricia Lourdes Viray - Philstar.com
Dry run of EDSA driver-only ban to continue without penalties
The expanded HOV policy imposes a driver-only ban along the whole stretch of EDSA from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.
Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority will continue its dry run of the expanded High Occupancy Vehicle lane policy on EDSA during rush hours, agency general manager Jojo Garcia said Monday.

Last Friday, the MMDA temporarily suspended full implementation of the policy that bans single-passenger cars on the whole stretch of EDSA during rush hours.

The policy, which was supposed to be fully implemented on August 23, has been suspended until the policy-making Metro Manila Council convenes.

'If there's no apprehension, no one follows'

Garcia, however, clarified that the dry run of the "driver-only" ban in EDSA will still run during rush hours. Drivers will not be apprehended.

"It's still the same from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and the 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. but you know motorists if there's no apprehension, no one follows," Garcia told ANC's "Headstart".

The MMDA alone cannot suspend the policy as the MMC has to convene and adopt a resolution on the matter, Garcia said.

The MMDA chief said he has talked to some Metro Manila mayors and they have agreed to temporarily suspend the full implementation of the "driver-only" ban but the dry run still continues.

"We're begging everyone to please participate so that we can really know what will happen and if this HOV policy can improve something," Garcia said.

Senate calls for suspension of HOV policy

The suspension of the scheme was announced following a Senate resolution that called for the halt of the policy's implementation.

Last week, Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri and Minority Leader Franklin Drilon filed Senate Resolution 845, which noted that the MMC implemented the ban without public consultation and hearing.

"Whereas, it is not proven, empirical or otherwise, that indeed, seventy percent of motor vehicles plying EDSA is driver-only-driven," the resolution read.

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